Veteran PR Executive Arthur Sando Dies at 71

Arthur Sando _Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of the Family of Arthur Sando

A trusted counselor to Ted Turner, Sando served as Turner Broadcasting Systems' first public relations director, later overseeing communications for King World/CBS, ION Media, Larry Flynt's Flynt Management Group and served as counsel to the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation.

Arthur Sando, a veteran public relations executive, died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. He was 71.

Sando was Turner Broadcasting Systems' first public relations director, rising to vp communications and marketing as he established a worldwide publicity operation. During his time at TBS, he helped coordinate communications for CNN, TBS, Headline News and TNT, with the latter two networks launching during his tenure. A trusted counselor to Ted Turner, Sando later headed up public relations for King World/CBS and ION Media and served as counsel to the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation, which helps kids exposed to domestic violence.

“Arthur was more than a friend; he was a caring, loving extension of our family,” said Ali and Joe Torre in a statement. “Arthur also served our Safe At Home Foundation as a longtime Board member and was a champion for the cause. He had a wonderful zest for life, and his biggest passion was his family. We send our deepest condolences to his children and grandchildren. We are heartbroken over Arthur’s passing.”

During his time at King World/CBS, Sando oversaw communications for such hit TV shows as Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray, Inside Edition, Hollywood Squares and Everybody Loves Raymond.

In 2012, he was tapped to head communications at Larry Flynt's Flynt Management Group.

Sando received the NCTA’s President’s Award in 1987, and he was inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers in 2018.

Sando started his career in Philadelphia as a reporter at Top 40 radio station WFIL-AM. He later worked as a TV reporter at NBC affiliate WSYR-TV in Syracuse, New York, and as press secretary for Democratic New York Congressman James Hanley in Washington.

His résumé also included stops heading corporate affairs for Comsat Corporation and Winstar Communications and as managing partner of Sando Communications, representing MLB Network, Holding Pictures, Tyson Ranch, R-Water, MonaVie and the UN Foundation.

The D.C. native graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in political science. Sando was predeceased by his parents, Edith and David, both Holocaust survivors, and his brother, Jack.

He is survived by his daughter, Jackie Shea, and her husband Patrick, of Severna Park, Maryland; their children, Sadie and Meara; a son, Michael, of Los Angeles; and his ex-wife Karen O’Keefe, of Gaithersburg, Maryland.

A memorial service will be held on Sept. 10 at Nationals Park in Washington. Donations in Sando's name can be made to the Safe At Home Foundation.