Jamie Kellner, TV Exec Who Launched Fox and The WB, Dead at 77

Jamie Kellner, the TV executive who created Fox and The WB, died on Friday. He was 77 years old.

Our sister site Variety first reported the news of Kellner’s death. Cause of death is not yet known.

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Kellner was named president and chief operating officer of Fox in 1986. He went on to leave a lasting impact at the network — introducing viewers to popular programming, including The Simpsons, Married… With Children, Cops, In Living Color and 21 Jump Street. He also created the Fox Kids Network before exiting the company in 1993.

The TV titan later created The WB in 1995, becoming the only executive to ever launch two broadcast networks. Under Kellner’s leadership, The WB aired Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, 7th Heaven and Felicity. His tenure at the network came to an end in 2004.

During his decades-long career, Kellner also led Turner Broadcasting — including TNT, TBS, CNN and more popular channels — and served as president of the Orion Entertainment Group.

In a statement to Variety, former WB chairman Garth Ancier honored Kellner’s contributions to TV, calling his career “legendary.”

“[Kellner] took on each challenge with the same vigor that he brought to his own life,” Ancier added. “I will miss him dearly.”

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