Daniel Burke Dies, Built Capital Cities Into Media Power
October 26, 2011 at 11:38 AM (PT)
DANIEL BURKE, who with partner TOM MURPHY built CAPITAL CITIES COMMUNICATIONS into a broadcasting industry giant that bought ABC in 1986, died TODAY (10/26) of complications from Type 1 diabetes in RYE, NY at 86.
BURKE joined legendary radio newsman LOWELL THOMAS' CAPITAL CITIES in 1961 at then-CBS affiliate WTEN (TV)/ALBANY, NY and climbed the ladder to head the company's TV station and publishing divisions before being named CEO in 1990. BURKE and MURPHY, his predecessor as CEO, put together a deal to buy the larger ABC for $3.5 billion in 1986. BURKE retired in 1994; MURPHY sold the company to THE WALT DISNEY CO. in 1996. As CAPITAL CITIES, the company owned several major radio stations, including WPAT-A-F/PATERSON, NJ-NEW YORK, KPOL-A-KZLA/LOS ANGELES, WBAP-A-KSCS/DALLAS-FT. WORTH, WPLO-A-WKHX/ATLANTA, WJR-A-WHYT/DETROIT, WKBW-A/BUFFALO, WSAZ-A/HUNTINGTON, WV, WROW-A-F/ALBANY, NY, and WPRO-A-F/PROVIDENCE. Some of the stations were spun off over time, and the ABC radio stations were added to the company with the purchase of the network.
BURKE's son STEVE is CEO of COMCAST's NBCUNIVERSAL; son BILL was a longtime TURNER BROADCASTING executive who co-wrote TED TURNER's autobiography. BURKE also founded the PORTLAND SEA DOGS minor league baseball team in MAINE.