Man Behind Fox and The WB Dead at 77

( – American TV executive Jamie Kellner passed away on June 21 at his residence in Montecito, California, at the age of 77, after a long battle with cancer. He was a significant figure in the broadcast television industry of the 20th century, credited with the creation of The WB and Fox.

In a statement, former WB chairman and Kellner’s friend Garth Ancier said that he and many people in the industry feel “devastated” by the executive’s death, as he was a loving friend. Ancier also said that Kellner was a crucial figure in American TV in the late 20th century, as he said that his contributions to the industry were “legendary.” The former WB chairman added that Kellner was a man who always brought “vigor” not only to his life but also to every challenge he had to deal with.

Kellner’s appointment as the chief operating officer and president of Fox in 1986 was a pivotal moment in the industry. His introduction of popular programming, including 21 Jump StreetIn Living ColorMarried With Children, and especially The Simpsons, was a game-changer.

Before exiting Fox back in 1993, Kellner made what has been considered a game-changer move by creating Fox Kids Network, delivering quality content to children and adolescents, and making the company reach many more viewers. Two years later, Kellner created WB, becoming the only TV executive in the United States history to launch two broadcast networks.

Under his leadership at the WB, the network aired some of the most famous series and shows of the moment, including Felicity7th Heaven, Gilmore Girls, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dawson’s Creek. During his career, the TV juggernaut also served as the Orion Entertainment Group president and led Turner Broadcasting, including CNN, TBS, TNT, and many other famous channels.

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