Updated: 'Hub' Schlafly, Teleprompter Inventor, Eulogized

Funeral services were held Tuesday in Greenwich, Conn., for Hubert "Hub" Schlafly, the inventor of the teleprompter and a member of the Cable Hall of Fame.

He died at a Stamford, Conn., hospital at age 91 on April 20 of undisclosed causes, according to news reports.

Les Read, a longtime friend of Schlafly's and executive director of the Cable TV Pioneers organization, estimated 250-300 people attended the funeral mass at St. Mary's Church. Among those in attendance were Cablevision Systems chairman Charles Dolan, former Century Communications chairman Leonard Tow and former Starz Encore chairman John Sie, Read said.

"It was a wonderful service, I came away very, very inspired," Read said. "We lost a great one." Eulogists noted Schlafly's contributions to Notre Dame University, among other good works, he said.

Schlafly became best known for inventing the teleprompter scrolling text reader in the 1950s, to help a soap opera actor who could not remember his lines, he said during his Cable Hall induction in 2008.

Schlafly later helped usher in nationwide transmission of television signals via satellite. He and Sidney Topol of Scientific Atlanta built an eight-meter transportable satellite receiver for that task. The technology was publicly demonstrated first in 1973 when then Speaker of the House Carl Albert addressed a cable convention in Anaheim, Calif., from his office in Washington, D.C.

Schlafly said in his Hall of Fame remarks "without a doubt" that 1973 demonstration was his greatest contribution to the cable industry.

Schlafly and Irving Kahn founded the TelePrompTer Corp. which, by the time of the 1973 demonstration in Anaheim, TelePrompTer was the biggest U.S. cable operator. It was later sold to Westinghouse.

Hall of Famer Bill Bresnan, a former TelePrompTer executive, said at the 2008 ceremony that Schlafly's use of a TelePrompTer to read his speech there was the first time he'd ever used one. (Bresnan's funeral mass, in 2009, also was held at St. Mary's Church in Greenwich.)

Schlafly was awarded two Emmys for contributions to cable technology.

For a profile of Schlafly ahead of his Cable Hall of Fame induction, click here.

For Schlafly's obituary in The Washington Post, click here.

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Nexttv.com. Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.