Theodore Holton Walworth Jr., former president of NBC’s owned stations, died Jan. 16 at 95. He was VP and general manager of WNBC New York throughout the ‘60s, and then president of the NBC group for most of the ‘70s.
Walworth Jr. was born July 19, 1924 in Greenwich, Connecticut. He served in World War II as a medic from 1943 to 1945 in Europe, and received a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in Belgium.
He used the GI Bill to enroll at Nichols College in Massachusetts. After college Walworth reached out to Edward Noble, who had recently purchased ABC, who he contacted through a friend. In 1946 Walworth got a job working in the ABC mailroom.
He went on to hold sales and management positions in radio and television in Cleveland, Philadelphia and New York, including time at the stations that became WKYC Cleveland and KYW Philadelphia. He also worked at spot sales firm Edward Petry & Co. before shifting to NBC Spot Sales.
Walworth was VP/general manager of WNBC New York from 1961 to 1971, when he shifted to president of NBC’s owned stations after Ray Welpott retired. Walworth held that job at 30 Rock “through most of the ‘70s,” according to NBCNewYork.com.
The group had five stations at the time. Then-NBC Chairman Julian Goodman called Walworth "a rare combination of a splendid businessman and a fine human being."
Walworth married Joan Petersen in 1949.
He is survived by his two children, Wendy Schrijver and T.H. Walworth III, and four grandchildren.
T.H. Walworth III said his father “matured with the industry and found his participation rewarding, exciting, educational and powerful, and allowed him to personally mix with our great American leaders.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.