Broadcasting Pioneer Daniel Burke Has Died

October 26, 2011 Updated Oct 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM EDT

By WKBW News


Broadcasting Pioneer Daniel Burke Has Died

October 26, 2011 Updated Oct 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM EDT

By DEAN SCHABNER Oct. 26, 2011 ( ABC NEWS )
Daniel B. Burke, who rose from general manager of a local TV station to become president and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC, has died. He was 82.

Burke was Capital Cities/ABC president and CEO from 1990 until his retirement in 1994. Before that, he was president and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since 1972.

Capital Cities owned and operated WKBW radio and WKBW Channel 7 in Buffalo from 1960 until 1986, when Capital Cities purchased the ABC network.

Mr. Burke frequently visited Buffalo during the decades that Cap Cities owned WKBW radio and television.

He joined Capital Cities in 1961 as general manager of WTEN-TV in Albany, and was elected a vice president of the Company in 1962. In 1964 he was appointed general manager of WJR-AM/FM in Detroit.

Active in the company's program for development and acquisitions, Burke was elected executive vice president and director of Capital Cities in 1967.

He served as president of the Publishing Division from 1969 until his election as president and COO of Capital Cities in 1972.

When the company completed its acquisition of American Broadcasting Companies on Jan. 3, 1986, Burke became president and COO Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. On June 1, 1990, he assumed the title of president and CEO.

Before joining Capital Cities, Burke worked for General Foods' Jell-O Division in various capacities from 1955 until 1961.

Burke also served as a director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and was chairman emeritus of New York Presbyterian Hospital in the City of New York.

In 1990, President Bush appointed Burke to the Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund which was established to manage funds appropriated by Congress to promote the private sector in Hungary.

He served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Vermont for a six-year term with the final year as Board Chairman. He was also on the Boards of American Woman's Economic Development Corporation, New York Blood Center, Reading is Fundamental and United Way of New York.

Burke received a B.A. from the University of Vermont in 1950. Following his service as an infantry lieutenant in the Korean War in 1951 and 1952, he received an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1955.

Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. is now ABC, Inc., part of The Walt Disney Company.

Rev. Clinton Churchill owned WKBW radio, and later put WKBW Channel 7 on the air in 1958. The Capital Cities team, headed by Mr. Burke and Thomas Murphy purchased the media properties in 1960, and owned them until 1986. They were sold as a result of the network deal.