Saturday, December 22, 2007

Disney President's Death in Real Animation

Alan Wagner, a former CBS programming executive who became the first president of the Disney Channel, died on Tuesday in Manhattan, where he lived. He was 76.

As East Coast vice president of programming at CBS from 1976 to 1982, Mr. Wagner was in charge of developing and overseeing hit shows like “All in the Family” “Kojak,” “M*A*S*H,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “The Waltons” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

In 1982 the Walt Disney Company hired Mr. Wagner to oversee the development of what was then a novel idea, a cable channel dedicated to children and family programming. With a $100 million budget, he recruited a staff of programmers to create new shows as well as to draw from Disney’s extensive library of films and programs. The Disney Channel, starting as a 16-hour-a-day cable service, had its premiere in April 1983. Mr. Wagner was president for about a year.
Wagner should not be confused with the Florida man who died earlier this week on a ride at Walt Disney World. In that case:
Just before his death, Reeb had completed a run on the Expedition Everest ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “The ride’s duration is approximately three minutes,” homicide detective Sam Talton stated is his report. “At about 11:26 a.m. EST, the ride ended. The victim was unconscious and did not exit the ride with all the other guests.”
Wagner, on the other hand, lived nearly four million minutes before his ride ended.

[New York Times]

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