Veteran TV News Exec Patrick Casey Dies at 54

Casey, who spent 30 years invigorating television news programs around the country, most recently was executive news director overseeing both ABC affiliate WKEF and Fox affiliate WRGT in Dayton, Ohio.

Patrick Casey, who spent 30 years invigorating television news programs around the country, died Saturday at a hospice in Cincinnati after a 13-month battle with brain cancer. He was 54.

Casey, until recently executive news director overseeing both ABC affiliate WKEF and Fox affiliate WRGT in Dayton, Ohio, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, in February 2010. He stepped down only a few months ago.

Casey also worked at stations in Baltimore, Washington, Portland, Me., Los Angeles and Cincinnati.

"Pat stood out from the pack, and not just because he was a dedicated newsman," said Harvey Levin, who worked for Casey at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles and went on found TMZ. "He had so much humanity. I was always struck by how much he cared about the people we covered. And on an unrelated note, he was one funny dude. I will miss him."

Shortly after college, Casey worked for then-Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer, and from there was recruited into television news by John Butte, then news director of Baltimore's WMAR.

Casey then moved to Washington, where he worked at WJLA, WRC and then WUSA. At WRC, he was part of the investigative team that broke many stories related to the death of University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias, who died of a drug overdose shortly after he was selected as the No. 1 draft pick by the NBA.

Casey left D.C. for his first news director post at WCSH in Portland, then came to Los Angeles to join Butte on the syndicated investigative newsmagazine show, The Crusaders.

Casey spent nearly five years as managing editor of KCBS-TV, then another five as news director at Fox affiliate WXIX in Cincinnati. Four years ago, he was hired to oversee the two Dayton stations.

"There was no one like Pat Casey. He was a person of incredible integrity, loyalty, intelligence and dedication -- truly admired and respected by many," said Beth Laski, who worked for Casey in Los Angeles and is now a PR executive. "But for me, in addition to his unparalleled talents as a newsman, he was the best friend and mentor: supportive, fun, encouraging, unwavering and totally authentic."

A native of Washington, Casey is survived by his wife Maureen; their children Paul, Mary and Mac; and brothers Francis L. Casey III and Thomas D. Casey of Washington.

A mass will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Our Lord Christ the King Church in Cincinnati. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Casey Family Fund, Fifth Third Bank, 2632 Erie Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208.

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