Don Browne, Former NBC Executive and Telemundo President, Dies at 80

Don Browne, president of Telemundo Communications Group from 2005 to 2011, died Aug. 29 at his home in Miami Beach after battling a brain tumor. He was 80.

Browne was known for steering the growth of Telemundo’s original content production. Under his direction, a partnership was established with Mexico’s Televisa to bring Telemundo content to Mexico, and the company experienced record-breaking ratings.

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“As a pioneer of Telemundo’s signature original content productions, Don leaves behind a legacy of championing Spanish-language media and Hispanics at Telemundo and throughout the industry,” Telemundo said in a statement. “A visionary leader, Don earned a national reputation for his leadership in the recruitment and career development of women and minorities. His memory as a dedicated father, husband, friend and mentor to so many will be cherished by all of his colleagues and the entire Telemundo family.”

Before his time running Telemundo in Miami, Browne was president and general manager of WTVJ-TV, NBC’s station based in Miami. Prior to WTVJ, Browne served as executive vice president of NBC News in New York from 1991 to 1993. During his time in New York, he oversaw “Today” show and helped launch “Dateline.”

A longtime proponent of the U.S. Spanish-language television market, Browne played an important role in NBC’s acquisition of Telemundo in 2001.

Browne’s achievements were honored when he was inducted to the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2008. He was also feted in 2006 when he received the Florida Governor’s Points of Light Award. In 2004, he was given the Ida B. Wells Award for his dedication to increasing diversity in the workplace.

Browne was known for the work he did to develop the careers of underrepresented communities, serving as a charter member of the NBC News Taskforce on Women and Minorities. He was also a member of NBC’s Taskforce on Diversity.

Born in Toms River, N.J., Browne graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and also played football and track and field at the University of South Carolina.

Browne’s survivors include his two sons, Christopher and Ryan; and two granddaughters. His wife, Maria, died in 2021.

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