Robert Tudek, pioneering cable operator and co-founder of
Tele-Media Corp., died of cancer June 20 at the age of 86.
Tudek, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, was VP
and general manager of Centre Video in State College, Pa., when he cofounded
cable operator Tele-Media Corp. in 1970 with partner Everett Mundy, launching
with only a few hundred customers. Tudek was chairman, CEO and president of the
one-time top 25 MSO.
Tele-Media grew to 500,000 subs before spinning off systems
to TCI in 1984, and Time Warner/Fanch One Co. in 1996, according to Multichannel News reports. Mundy died in
2003, also of cancer.
American Cable Association President Matt Polka remembered
Tudek Thursday as one of the great cable entrepreneurs, "seeing the
potential of cable in smaller markets and rural areas long before anyone else
"He was more than an employer to his staff," said
Polka, who once represented Tele-Media. "Rather, he was a mentor and an
encourager. His company's initials, TMC, stood for Tudek, his partner, Everett
Mundy, and their coworkers. Mr. Tudek gave me my first lessons in the cable
industry as a young lawyer in 1986 representing his company in numerous
agreements and transactions, and I will always be in his debt," added Polka.
Tudek is survived by his wife, Elsie, and two children,
Robert Tudek Jr. and Peggy Tudek.