The Info List - Leonard Goldenson

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LEONARD H. GOLDENSON (December 7, 1905 – December 27, 1999) was President of the U.S. television and radio broadcaster ABC .


* 1 Early life and career * 2 Career at ABC * 3 Personal life * 4 References * 5 External links


Goldenson was born to a Jewish family in Pennsylvania in 1905. He grew up in the town of Scottdale, Pennsylvania and graduated from Scottdale High School. He was educated at Harvard , and entered the entertainment industry in 1933 as an attorney for Paramount Pictures after graduating from Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
. Goldenson was hired to help reorganize United Paramount Theatres , Paramount's theater chain, which at the time was nearing bankruptcy. So skillful was his work at this assignment that Paramount's chief executive officer, Barney Balaban , hired Goldenson as deputy to the manager of the Paramount Theaters chain.


Goldenson orchestrated the merger of United Paramount Theatres with ABC in 1953 (after Paramount was ordered to spin it off in the wake of United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. , a 1948 decree of the U.S. Supreme Court ). ABC was originally formed in 1943 in the wake of an earlier Supreme Court decree effectively ordering the spinoff of the largely secondary-status Blue Network
Blue Network
from its then-parent, NBC
; its buyer, industrialist Edward J. Noble , tried to build ABC into a competitive Broadcasting company, but by 1951 was rumored to be on the verge of selling the nearly bankrupt operation to CBS
, whose management apparently wanted ABC's critically important owned-and-operated television stations .

Goldenson rescued ABC by convincing his board of directors to buy the company from Noble for $25 million. becoming the founding president of the merged company which was named American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres . The modern ABC dates its history from the effective date of the Goldenson transaction, and not the Blue Network
Blue Network

Although he focused chiefly on ABC Television
ABC Television
, Goldenson oversaw all areas of ABC-Paramount's entertainment/media operations for over thirty years, from 1951 to 1986, including the creation of the AmPar Record Corporation in 1955 and the 'rebadging' of the ABC-Paramount group as the American Broadcasting Company