Colleagues remember Roger King


The following are statements from throughout the TV industry about the death of CBS Television Distribution CEO Roger King, who died Saturday of complications from a stroke. Visit our Risky Biz blog to share your own memories and condolences.

"Roger was the best sales executive this industry has ever known. He was a larger-than-life partner who helped me launch two decades of success in syndication. I will never forget what he did for me. And this industry will never forget his legendary presence."
Oprah Winfrey, "The Oprah Winfrey Show"

"Television has lost a legend -- a truly original executive with an unparalleled combination of business acumen, passion and personality. CBS has lost a colleague and a good friend. It's a very sad day for CBS and for all of broadcasting."
Leslie Moonves, president and CEO, CBS Corp.

"This is the end of an era. Roger was an icon; he was larger than life. The things he and his brother did were ahead of their time. There were very few that came along that had the impact on the business that he did. ... When you were in the room with Roger and he's selling, you better know your shit. Roger made you better when you knew he was coming in -- you had to raise your game. Our condolences go out to his family."
Rick Feldman, president and CEO of NATPE

"All of us in the industry have known and respected Roger for many years. His passing is a great loss. On behalf of everyone at 'Entertainment Tonight,' our condolences go out to the King family. We share their grief and mourn the death of a wonderful man and true television legend."
Mary Hart, anchor of "Entertainment Tonight"

"Roger was the quintessential television salesman. He knew the business and loved the impact he made on it. He was a giant, in more ways than one. We will miss him."
Alex Trebek, host of "Jeopardy!"

"On behalf of myself and my entire family, we would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family of Roger King. He was a dear personal friend and a trusted colleague. Having worked so closely with Roger over the past seven years, I came to appreciate the passion he had for his work, and the devotion he showed to his wife and children and entire family. His passing will leave a huge void in all of our lives, just as his dedication has left an indelible mark on the landscape of television. There will never be another Roger King."
Phil McGraw, "Dr. Phil"

"King was an appropriate name for Roger, as he is and always will be the KING of sales. He was a singular man who once told me that the key to his salesmanship was the ability to offer a great tuna sandwich to his customers. Roger confided in me that the secret to his sandwich was simply a splash of milk. My heart goes out to his loving family. They are in my thoughts and prayers."
Rachael Ray, "Rachael Ray"

"My heartfelt condolences go out to the entire King family. Roger left a legacy of thousands of hours of entertainment for millions of people."
Judy Sheindlin, "Judge Judy"

"Roger King was larger than life. He led a very colorful existence, and you could say many things about Roger ... but I never heard anyone say he couldn't sell!"
Chuck Larsen, president of October Moon

"Roger loved what he did, and it showed! He was always full of spunk and laughter. I will miss him, especially his jokes!"
Vanna White, co-host of "Wheel of Fortune"

"Roger was a very dear, close friend for 30 years. He lived life to the fullest, and he will truly be missed."
Greg Meidel, president of MyNetworkTV and former president of programming at CBS Paramount Domestic TV

"Roger King was an legendary, bigger-than-life figure whose salesmanship single-handedly dominated syndication for over 20 years. His passing is an extraordinary loss for our industry."
Ritch Colbert, Principal Program Partners

"He was, bar none, the toughest competitor I ever faced in my entire career in television, and nobody loved to win more than Roger. At his core, though, there was a real sweetness about him that maybe not everyone knew."
Dick Robertson, former president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television

"No one individual left a larger imprint on the syndication industry than Roger King. For the last three decades, he has been the No. 1 force of the first-run syndication business. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the entire King family. Syndication will never be the same."
Barry Wallach, president of NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution

"I always tracked the great (syndication salespeople). But Roger is completely different. He remembered everything there was in our rating book without carrying anything with him. He walked in sometimes without a coat on, didn't know who-where-what, but he remembered every detail, every show they owned, the competition, in every market. He was a brilliant guy and just like his father (King World founder Charles King). And he was one of a kind, unique. There was nobody that sold like him or knew the business as well or any better. He knew every broadcaster and every product they owned. ... He might have been a genius. He was so good, and so were (brothers) Bob and Michael. But there was something different about Roger. I can't even pinpoint it."
Dick Colbert, founder of Colbert Television Sales, for which King World
was a subdistributor on "The Joker's Wild" and "Tic Tac Dough"

Compiled by Kimberly Nordyke and Melissa Grego