Norman Horowitz, Former MGM/UA Telecommunications CEO, Dies at 82

Norman Horowitz - S 2015
Courtesy of Steven G. Horowitz

Norman Horowitz - S 2015

The entertainment executive founded PolyGram Television.

Norman Horowitz, the former president-CEO of MGM/UA Telecommunications, has died. He was 82.

Horowitz died on Tuesday of a heart attack at his home in Beverly Hills, a family spokesman announced on Thursday.

The entertainment executive began his career in 1956 as an assistant in the editing room at Screen Gems. He then became sales vp at Screen Gems and later executive vp worldwide sales at the studio. In 1968, he became the director of international sales at CBS, working with Ralph Baruch, the founder of Viacom.

In 1970, he became vp international sales at Columbia Pictures Television and later was promoted to television divisional president. He then founded PolyGram Television and became the president-CEO of MGM/UA Telecommunications.

In charge of syndication rights for shows including Soap, Barney Miller and Charlie’s Angels, he wrote in a Huffington Post article, “I was a New York born and raised Jew who was an electrical engineer who moved to Los Angeles in the television business, and at fortysomething, I was trying to decide what Christian wives and mothers wanted to watch in the afternoon in Alton, Ill.”

Born in the Bronx in 1932, Horowitz served in the Air Force during the Korean War. A frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, Horowitz once wrote, “I spent the first 40 years of my life ‘trying to know about life,’ the next 20 years believing that ‘I did know about life’ and the last 20 realizing that I ‘will never really know about life.’ ”

He is survived by his son, Steven G. Horowitz, daughter-in-law Katie Danziger and their children, Jake, Jilly and Josie; his daughter, Eileen Horowitz Bastianelli and her daughters, Lola and Maya; and his ex-wife, Florence Horowitz.

A memorial service will be scheduled this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the March of Dimes’s New York chapter.