It was Sol Taishoff who built Broadcasting magazine, co-founding it in 1931 almost before there was an industry to cover. Before too long, not only was there a broadcasting business, but Broadcasting itself was its bible (and became Broadcasting & Cable in 1996).
Taishoff's son, Larry, joined Broadcasting in 1958, and his dad made him do grunt work just like all the other working stiffs on the overworked staff. But Larry, it was said, didn't really have the reporter's gut.
It turns out, though, that he was an astute businessman. He worked quietly behind the scenes on the publishing side of the magazine.
As former Broadcasting & Cable Editor Don West noted on Nov. 1, the day Larry Taishoff passed away at age 73, “The first 25 years of the magazine were definitely Sol's, and the next 25 were definitely Larry's. He agreed with his dad that [success] always begins with editorial, and he believed it.”
Sol created the brand and gave the magazine its soul and integrity. His son, who officially became publisher in 1971, recognized the full value of that and turned Broadcasting into a stable money machine.
At a time when many publishing entities find that their money machines are running on empty, we applaud that Larry Taishoff made this magazine so important that, in 1986, Times Mirror Co. paid $75 million for it, a record price for a business magazine. (That company sold it in 1991 to what would become Reed Business Information.)
Larry Taishoff, who died after being hospitalized at the Washington Hospital Center with a long, debilitating illness, was interred at the Washington Hebrew Congregational Memorial Park in Washington last week.
He leaves behind sons Rob, Randy and Brad and seven grandchildren.
His family has suggested that memorial contributions to the American Diabetes Association would be most appreciated.
Taishoff leaves behind more than memories. His Taishoff Family Foundation started out concentrating on journalistic causes but expanded its largesse to the health field, particularly aiding research on Down syndrome.
Like other great business leaders, Larry Taishoff also found a way to create a useful memorial to his life's work. His interest in the Broadcast Pioneers organization led to his philanthropic support of the Library of American Broadcasting, now located at the University of Maryland. It is a resource for scholars studying the history of television and radio, and its important figures. One of those, of course, was Larry Taishoff.