Roger King (producer)
August 22, 1944|
New York City, New York
|Died||December 8, 2007
Boca Raton, Florida
|Cause of death||Stroke|
Roger Monroe King (August 22, 1944 – December 8, 2007) was an American television and media executive for King World Productions and CBS. He was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 1992 and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2004 and is credited with launching the careers of such top television stars as Oprah Winfrey, Phil McGraw and Alex Trebek.
King World Productions
In what his old friends refer to as 'The Early Years' (1974–1977), Roger and his brothers Michael and Bob commandeered WKID TV; where they broadcast a Late Night TV Talk Show from Pirate's World in Hollywood Florida. The Show interviewed celebrities that were passing through South Florida. The interviews were followed by King World's Little Rascals. The local commercials that were played were Produced by Bob King and Narrated by Musician/Photographer Jessie Eastland aka Robert DeMeo, a friend of the King Brothers during those years.
Under Roger's leadership, King World became the leading distributor of popular syndicated television programming. He put on the national scene daytime television's most popular programs of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, including Harpo Productions The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil and is also credited with launching the syndicated news magazine, Inside Edition. He also syndicated Merv Griffin's Wheel of Fortune (for Sony Pictures Television), starring Pat Sajak and Vanna White which, according to CBS, has been the top-rated syndicated TV show for the past 26 years. Another of his Griffin syndications, Jeopardy! (also by Sony Pictures Television), has remained among the top three for 25 years.
Top executive at CBS
Roger King joined CBS in 2000 following the merger of King World Productions with the broadcasting network, and served as chief executive officer of CBS Television Distribution from 2000 until his death. He was responsible for the syndicated sale of repeat episodes from CBS' top prime-time shows, including the CSI series, Survivor, The Amazing Race, Everybody Loves Raymond (ancillary rights to this series are owned by Time Warner via HBO) and UPN's America's Next Top Model.
Roger King had a reputation for throwing lavish industry parties. In January 1998, during the NATPE convention in New Orleans, Roger King rented out the Louisiana Superdome for the evening and hired Elton John to entertain his guests. Remembering his early struggles in his own career, Roger King was known for reaching out his hand to newcomers in the industry and often availing himself as a mentor and advisor.
Roger King suffered a stroke at his Florida home in Boca Raton and died the following day at Boca Raton Community Hospital at the age of 63. He was survived by his wife, Raemali, and three daughters, Kellie, AnnaRose and Lucinda.
Oprah Winfrey stated, "I will never forget what he did for me. And this industry will never forget his legendary presence. He was truly a great guy".
- "Roger M. King". Associated Press (Legacy.com). 2007-12-09. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
- "A Tribute To Roger King". Steven Ameche. 2008-07-27. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
- Konrad, Walecia. "HAVENS; Weekender | Bay Head, N.J.", The New York Times, June 13, 2003. Accessed August 28, 2008. "Bay Head is still a retreat for wealthy executives. Summer residents include Roger King, chief executive of CBS Enterprises and King World Productions, and Michael Price, formerly of the Mutual Series mutual fund company."
- Lohr, Steve (2007-12-10). "Roger M. King, 63, TV Syndicator, Dies". Associated Press (Legacy.com). Retrieved 2007-01-04.
- New York Times: Roger M. King, 63, TV Syndicator, Dies
- Hollywood Reporter: CBS TV Distribution's Roger King dies
- Hollywood Reporter: Colleagues remember Roger King
- Variety magazine: CBS exec Roger King dies at 63
- "Broadcasting & Cable" magazine: Syndication Legend Roger King Dies
- Steven Ameche: A Tribute To Roger King
- Roger King at the Internet Movie Database
- Archive of American Television interview