Pioneering TV Engineer David Cohn Dies - Broadcasting & Cable

Pioneering TV Engineer David Cohn Dies

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David A. Cohn, 82, a pioneering CBS television engineer who helped develop electronic newsgathering, refined the parabolic mike, and designed the public address system at Yankee stadium, died Dec. 16, 2004, at Hospice of the Sea in Boca Raton, Fla. 

After service in World War II, Cohn, a native New Yorker, worked in various engineering posts for Voice of America, ABC, WNYC Radio New York, and Bogen Communications, before joining CBS as a project manager in 1966. There, his work included space shots, political convention coverage, and the NFL.

In 1975, Cohn was named director of engineering and operations technology for the CBS TV stations, where he contributed to the development of electronic newsgathering. He retired from CBS  in 1989.

According to Cohn's son, Alan, an investigative reporter for WTNH-WCTX New Haven, Conn., his father was instrumental in a number of key developments, including designing the see-through parabolic microphone, helping design the transmitter that sat atop the World Trade Center, and planning the technical facilities for NFL Today and CBS Newspath.

Among his other accomplishments, said the younger Cohn, were designing the public address systems for the Kennedy White House and Yankee Stadium.

At VOA in the 1940's, Cohn worked with actor Telly Savalas, who was then broadcasting to Greece for the service. They would cross paths again during Savalas' run on the CBS 1970's drama, Kojak. "Savalas always remembered my father," said Cohn.

In addition to his son, David Cohn is survived by his wife, Miriam, a daughter, Sharon L. Cohn; and four grandchildren.

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