John von Soosten, Former Katz Television Exec, Dies at 71

John von Soosten - H 2016
Courtesy Chuck Larsen

He served as president of the industry trade group NATPE in the 1980s.

John von Soosten, a former executive with the Katz Television Group who served as the president of the National Association of Television Program Executives in the 1980s, died April 13 in West Hempstead, N.Y., after a short illness. He was 71.

Von Soosten was vp and director of programming for Katz from 1984-93 and senior vp and director of programming for Katz National Television for the next two years.

He then worked at New York radio stations WQEW and WNSW before hosting the Frank’s Place and On Broadway channels on XM Satellite Radio. Most recently, he hosted The Great American Songbook program on WNCK, the NPR radio station on Nantucket island in Massachusetts.

A lifelong resident of the New York area, von Soosten attended Ithaca and Brooklyn colleges and began his career as an engineer at WOR-TV. He moved to WNEW-TV, where he rose to become vp and director of programming for the station.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Linda, and nephews Viktor and Ryan.