Paul Cassidy, Veteran Television and Radio Executive, Dies at 83

Courtesy of Carolyn Cassidy
Paul Cassidy

The father of Fox senior vp Carolyn Cassidy managed radio stations and served as chairman of Cordillera Communications.

Paul Cassidy, a veteran radio and television executive who served as chairman of the broadcasting group Cordillera Communications, died March 1 in Plano, Texas. He was 83.

Survivors include his daughter Carolyn Cassidy, senior vp and head of current programming at Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Paul Cassidy's career in TV station management began in 1981 at KOLD in Tucson, Arizona. He then guided TV stations in Lafayette, Louisiana (KATC) and Buffalo, New York (WKBW) before joining Cordillera in 1995 as president of its newly created TV division.

Cassidy supervised 11 stations in seven states before retiring in the early 2000s as chairman of the Minnesota-based company, a subsidiary of Evening Post Industries.

He was born on Feb. 11, 1935, in Saratoga Springs, New York, the site of the nation's oldest horse racing track, Saratoga Race Course. (Cassidy regularly returned home during racing season and eventually became a successful thoroughbred owner.)

Following graduation from Michigan State University and service in the U.S. Army, Cassidy moved to Pittsburgh, where he served as an assistant manager at the local Hilton hotel. A representative at local radio station KDKA then hired him for a sales position.

That led to Cassidy managing a series of prominent rock 'n' roll and country music radio stations — including KHJ, KLOS, KTNQ and KGBS in Los Angeles and KSFX in San Francisco — where he paired colorful DJs with talented music programmers before segueing to television.

In addition to Carolyn Cassidy and her husband Zach, survivors include his wife of 57 years, Marla; daughter Paula and her husband Frank; sons Kevin (Nicky) and Stephen (Amy); and grandchildren Olivia, Max, Fiona, Maeve, Violet and Julia.

A memorial service is set for 1:30 p.m. on March 17 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Plano. Donations in his name may be made to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.