Longtime Syndication Executive Len Firestone Dead at 93

Leonard Firestone, whose syndication sales career reached back into the 1950s, died March 4 at the age of 93.

Firestone was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. and attended Duquesne University.

After serving in World War II, his TV career began at Unity Television in 1950. He rose to national sales manager, distributing theatrical films to TV stations.

Following that he was hired by Ziv Television and distributed first-run TV programming like Sea HuntThe Rifleman and Ensign O’Toole.

In the 1960s, Firestone joined Four Star Television Distribution, followed by Filmways as senior VP. At Filmways he headed off-network syndication for sitcoms The Addams Family and Green Acres.

In the mid-1960s, Firestone founded Firestone Films (later known as Firestone Program Syndication Company) and found success distributing first-run talk shows Pat Boone Show and New Steve Allen Show.

Firestone’s clients included Goodson-Todman Productions (To Tell the TruthBeat the Clock), Allen Funt Productions (Candid Camera) and Chuck Barris Productions (Gong Show,Dating GameNewlywed Game).

Firestone is survived by his children Brian Firestone, Jack Firestone and Pattie Posner. His wife, Carole, whom he had married in 1950, died in 2009.