Bloomberg News

Daniel Burke, Capital Cities/ABC Chief Executive, Dies at 82

November 01, 2011

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Daniel B. Burke, who helped build Capital Cities/ABC Inc. into one of the largest U.S. media companies over a 33-year career, died today at his home in Rye, New York. He was 82.

Burke, who served as president and chief executive officer of Capital Cities/ABC from 1990 to 1994, died from complications of Type 1 diabetes, according to a family statement.

With partner and long-time friend Thomas Murphy, Burke built a local TV station owner into a media giant with interests in broadcasting, cable and publishing, according to a statement from Walt Disney Co., which bought Capital Cities/ABC in 1996. Burke joined the company in 1961 as a station manager.

“Dan was a brilliant executive and my business partner for 33 years,” Murphy, 86, said in the statement. “He was also a friend whose intelligence and integrity greatly inspired those around him.”

The acquisition of ABC by Capital Cities in 1986 ranked as the largest non-oil merger in business history at the time, according to the statement.

Survivors include Harriet “Bunny” Burke, his wife of 54 years; a brother, James E. Burke, former CEO of Johnson & Johnson; a sister, Phyllis B. Davis; children Steve, CEO of NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Frank; Sally McNamara and Bill Burke; and 14 grandchildren.

--Editors: Steven Gittelson, Charles W. Stevens.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Golum in Los Angeles at rgolum@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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