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Michael Hardgrove, president/CEO, KETC(TV) St. Louis, will retire on June 30, 2002.
Glenn "Duffy" Dyer,
VP/GM, KSTU(TV) Salt Lake City, joins WTTG(TV) Washington as VP/GM.
Richard L. Engberg, general sales manager, WCIU-TV Chicago, appointed director, sales, WBZL-TV Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Appointments at Citadel Communications, Las Vegas: Thomas Garry, regional executive VP/regional sales VP, AMFM Inc., Houston, joins as president, Midwest; Jerry McKenna, VP/market manager, Infinity Broadcasting Corp., Sacramento, Calif., joins as president, Far West regions.
Olin l. Kropog, VP, sales, ConnectSouth, Austin, Texas, joins Cox Business Services, New Orleans, as VP/GM.
Rory Lindgrin, senior VP, Customer Service, Fleet Boston Financial, Boston, joins Pegasus Communications, Bala Cynwyd, Pa., as senior VP, customer relationship management.
VP, operations, Michigan region, Charter Communications, St. Louis, promoted to senior VP, operations, central region.
Bill Borson, VP, production, Fox Sports Net, Los Angeles, promoted to executive producer/senior VP, production.
VP, production management, National Geographic TV, Washington, promoted to VP, production finance and strategic planning.
Peggy O'Brien, Ph.D., chief learning officer/COO, Kiko.com, Long Beach, Calif., joins Cable in the Classroom, Washington, as executive director.
VP/GM, WISN(AM)/WLTQ-FM Milwaukee, joins WKQX-FM Chicago as VP/GM.
Perry Como, "Mr. Nice Guy," whose show was the third-longest-running in TV history—after Gunsmoke and Lassie—died in Jupiter, Fla., shortly before what would have been his 89th birthday. The Perry Como Show was on both NBC and CBS for a total of 15 seasons.
In 1944, his NBC radio show, The Chesterfield Supper Club, became a hit and, according to the annual Billboard magazine poll, the singer was more popular than Dick Haymes and Frank Sinatra.
Como's easy, relaxed manner keyed his singing and set the tone for his shows. He was both casual and classy and his vocal repertoire ranged from "Till the End of Time" (more than a million records sold) and "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," both based on Chopin compositions, to such demanding show tunes as "Some Enchanted Evening Evening" and "If I Loved You" (Rodgers & Hammerstein) to novelties including "Hot Diggety" and "Chi-Baba Chi-Baba."
Robert F. Blake, publicity director for CBS who also held public relations posts for CBS Cable, NBC and Westinghouse Broadcasting Co., died May 13 in his Bridgehampton, N.Y., home at 85.
Under his purview during the golden age of television were Playhouse 90, I Love Lucy, The Jack Benny Program, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, The Red Skelton Show, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason and The Jackie Gleason Show, of which The Honeymooners was a part. He also worked on specials starring Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland.
award-winning writer, whose social conscience informed his work, died April 29, in New Canaan, Conn., at 86.
He won three Emmys; six Peabody Awards, four for radio, two for television; and two Writers Guild Awards. Among his critically acclaimed works: And James Was a Very Small Snail, about an emotionally disturbed child; Kids Like These, about a child with Down's syndrome; and To All My Friends on Shore. He wrote scripts for East Side,West Side, a CBS series starring George Scott as a social worker in New York's slums.