Leonard H. Goldenson helped shape modern mass communications, while his devotion to a range of civic causes—from the promotion of the democratic process to co-founding United Cerebral Palsy, one of the largest health agencies in the U.S., left an equally profound legacy.
Leonard H. Goldenson’s uncanny ability to take the long view, to stand fast in the face of overwhelming odds - - for decades, at tremendous cost - - to realize a vision, led to innovations that transformed the landscape of network television and set a new template for the ways networks operate that is followed to this day. Goldenson’s singular combination of visionary ideas, preternatural business savvy, and sheer dogged tenacity transformed a flailing broadcasting enterprise on the verge of collapse into one of the world’s mightiest media empires. The name of this shoestring operation was ABC.
Perhaps Goldenson’s most remarkable achievement after decades of swimming with corporate sharks, wrangling with the FCC, fighting off hostile takeovers, and, in 1977, taking perennial underdog ABC to first place in the ratings, is that no one seems to have a harsh word to say about the man. A true gentleman, Goldenson created and nurtured a world-class media empire built on a foundation of decency, honor, and public spiritedness. He bestrode the media firmament as a modest colossus, a quiet titan who wrought wonders not for his own glory, but for the medium he loved. Perhaps this is why his name is not better known. It should be.
Brought to you by TV Calling - the leading television writing resource