Former ABC pres Tom Moore dies at 88

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PALM SPRINGS -- Tom Moore, who in the 1960s helped the fledgling ABC Television Network become a competitive rival of CBS and NBC, has died. He was 88.

Moore, who also won several Emmy awards as head of his own production company, died Saturday of congestive heart failure in Palm Springs, his daughter Jean Edwards said.

Moore was head of programming at ABC from 1958-62, and network president from 1963-68. The network was a division of the American Broadcasting Co.

During his tenure at ABC, the network began targeting programming toward younger viewers, who are most sought after by advertisers. ABC and Moore believed that demographic would be their ticket to the top.

"Probably his greatest legacy is that he changed the whole basis on which television time is sold, and thus, how television is programmed," TV historian Tim Brooks told the Los Angeles Times. "ABC basically introduced us to the concept of demographics. And ever since, we in the TV industry have been appealing to 18- to 49-year-old viewers."

Moore also was instrumental in developing the ABC Sports division, which won several Emmys for "ABC's Wide World of Sports" and Olympics coverage.

He hired sports producer Roone Arledge, who became a legend, and helped create "Monday Night Football."

Among the shows that ABC broadcast during Moore's leadership were "77 Sunset Strip," "The Untouchables," "Peyton Place" and "My Three Sons." Other favorites on the network then included, "The Addams Family," "Batman" and "The Fugitive."

ABC is now owned by the Walt Disney Co. CBS is a division of CBS Corp. NBC is owned by General Electric Co.

Born in Meridian, Miss., in September 1918, Moore was the son of a cotton buyer and a schoolteacher. He attended the University of Missouri, then served for six years as a Navy pilot during World War II.

He started his TV career in the early 1950s at CBS, where he worked in sales. He moved to ABC in 1957.

After helping ABC become a viable network, he left and, in the 1970s, ran Tomorrow Entertainment.

He won Emmys for shows produced by the company, including "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," "The Body Human" and "Lifeline," which profiled the work of surgeons.

Moore is survived by his wife, daughter, son and sister as well as four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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