Jim Byrne, Former CBS Director of Marketing, Dies at 79

Courtesy Byrne family
Jim Byrne

The marketing and communications exec also worked with Walter Cronkite and for the U.S. Football League.

Jim Byrne, a director of marketing for CBS for nearly two decades, died Sunday of cancer at his home in Tenafly, N.J., his son said. He was 79.

Byrne also served as director of information at CBS News, where he worked closely with Walter Cronkite. He wrote a book about collaborating with the anchorman during the network's coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.

In the 1980s, Byrne was the director of communications for the short-lived United States Football League, the NFL competitor that played in the spring and had Donald Trump as the owner of the New Jersey Generals. Byrne authored a 1987 book about his experience, The $1 League: The Rise and Fall of the USFL.

Born and raised in Utica, N.Y., Byrne graduated from Syracuse's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 1959 and served in the armed forces. He was the U.S. assistant postmaster general in the 1970s and a senior vp at the advertising agency N.W. Ayer.

Survivors include his wife of more than 50 years, Carol; his children Jamie and Carrie and their respective spouses, Talisa and Alex; and grandchildren Luke and Lila. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center.