DEATHS4/02/2000 08:00:00 PM Eastern
Raymond Katz, television producer, died in a Los Angeles hospital March 23. He was 83. Katz, along with his cousin Sandy Gallin, ran a production and management business that produced the NBC miniseries Mussolini: The Untold Story, which starred George C. Scott. Katz began his career as the stage manager of the Capitol Theater on Broadway in New York. In the early 1940s, he became program director with MGM's New York radio station whn. Some of his later television hits include Donny and Marie, and Sold Out; the latter starred Lily Tomlin and Kate Smith and won an Emmy. His recent works include the 1988 film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and 13 episodes of the Family Channel's The New Original Amateur Hour.
M. Peter Downey, senior vice president of program business affairs at the Public Broadcasting Service, died March 26 of a heart ailment. He was 57. Downey began his career as a volunteer at WGBH-TV Boston in 1963. During his 13 years there, he held several production-related positions, including operations manager for its radio and two television stations. He joined PBS in 1977 as director of operations. There he supervised the transition from terrestrial to satellite program distribution. Prior to being named senior vice president in the mid'80s, he oversaw such departments as development, program scheduling, research, advertising and public information. Toward the end of his career there, he oversaw the management of contracting with program producers, underwriting guidelines, licensing and distribution.