Robert Yde, co-founder of TVS, dies at 71


Syndication veteran Robert E. Yde, co-founder of the Television Syndication Company Inc. (TVS) has died after a long battle with malignant melanoma. He was 71.

Yde, who died Monday, produced shows and headed marketing for TVS -- a Longwood, Fla.-based TV program distributor of children's and lifestyle programming that he ran with his wife, Cassie -- until retiring in October. TVS distributes the children's shows "Real Life 101," "Ultimate Choice" and "Kid Guides" and the lifestyle series "P. Allen Smith Gardens." Yde's recent production credits also include the magazine-style series "Get Reel" for kids network WAM!

Yde was born in Freeport, Ill., and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in marketing and business administration. After college, he served in the Air Force, flying 25-hour airborne alert missions to the Russian border as a member of a combat-ready SAC B-52 crew during the Cold War.

Later, while living in Mobile, Ala., and working for Southern Bell Telephone Co., his civic involvement led him to work on events including the Senior Bowl Football Game and America's Junior Miss Pageant. That in turn led to his working with network production teams on those events and others, kicking off his 40-year career in the entertainment industry.

Yde went on to produce for Broadway and other productions, including the road company version of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and the Broadway show "Hard Job Being God." He also headed production for many live performances by such entertainers as Bill Cosby, Bob Hope, Grand Funk Railroad, Jose Feliciano and Guy Lombardo.

Yde married Cassie in 1973, when they began producing TV shows under the banner of White Mountain Entertainment. They formed TVS Inc. in 1989 and continued producing shows while also distributing the work of other independent producers.

He is survived by his wife; sons James Robert Yde and John David Yde; daughter Karen Ann Ozolnieks; and two grandchildren, Clayton Hampton Yde and Grace Ann Ozolnieks.

In lieu of flowers, donations can made to the SPCA of Central Florida (Humane Society) at 2800 County Home Road, Sanford, Fla., 32773. A memorial service is planned for Dec. 29, which would have been Yde's 72nd birthday, at 11 a.m. at the Baldwin-Fairchild West Altamonte Chapel in Altamonte Springs, Fla.