Don West’s TVNewsCheck appreciation of the late Tony Malara prompts tributes by his fellow broadcasters. The latest remarks are from NAB’s Dennis Wharton.
TVNewsCheck last week posted an appreciation of the late Tony Malara by former Broadcasting & Cable Editor Don West and invited others to share their remembrances of the longtime broadcaster and CBS executive. Here is what we have collected so far. To add to this queue, send your remarks to Deputy Editor Mark Miller at [email protected].
Thank you, Don West, for your eloquent tribute to Tony Malara. I came to know Tony through his personal acts of kindness as I made the transition from broadcast reporter to broadcast PR guy. I came to love Tony Malara for his comedic genius, which I witnessed on many occasions as he emceed the Broadcast Pioneer’s Breakfast at the NAB Convention.
What a wonderful man was Tony Malara, and what a tremendous loss for our great profession.
Executive Vice President, Media Relations
National Association of Broadcasters
Upon completing my college education at Syracuse, I arrived in New York with a suitcase and a couple of hundred bucks in my pocket, determined to find a job in the center of the TV business universe. A professor had shared his philosophy of networking and “how to get a job in NYC,” part of which was “call people up; you’ll be surprised who will agree to see you if you’re honest and genuinely seeking advice.”
So I did. I picked up the phone and called the president of CBS, Tony Malara, and asked to see him. And sure enough, a few days later, there I was, more than a little in awe, sitting in the palatial office (that’s how I remember it anyway) of one of the most powerful people in broadcasting at the time.
Malara was warm, gracious, incredibly supportive and gave me some great networking leads. There were moments in the few weeks it took to land my first gig when I was tempted to pack up and go home. While I did not end up working at CBS, I can honestly say that that meeting with Tony Malara changed the course of my career by giving me confidence that I would ultimately make it.
Thank you, Mr. Malara.
VP, Digital Media & Internet Operations
Fox Television Stations Inc.
I don’t know how that guy always knew my name, but he did. Whenever I saw Tony—in New York or Roanoke, Va.—it was at an event, some do-good thing, where he was, as always, doing good and doing the room, an example for us all. How he made it through the dark days at CBS, I’ll never know. They were lucky he was there.
And we were lucky to know him. Man, could Tony make you feel great—just by saying your name.
President and CEO
We have lost one of the all time best. While writing this, I’m smiling as I vividly recall many memories of Tony C. and how profoundly appreciative I am for all the years I knew him as a friend as well as a business associate. I was lucky to have shared with him some of the best and funniest of times, particularly while attending many social and business affairs, many of which he so brilliantly emceed.
His rendition of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, while dressed as Frank Sinatra was a classic. All in attendance that night years ago at the Post-Newsweek annual NATPE party in New Orleans will forever smile when thinking of Tony singing his goodbye tribute to CBS and its affiliates.
Television Bureau of Advertising
New York City
Tony Malara was at the right network at the right time. I am referring to the days when affiliation changes occurred frequently and not without significant acrimony at times. ABC, CBS and NBC would fight for the top affiliate in every market. Many very small markets had only two stations and that resulted in intense competition. I had several business dealings with Tony over many years. It was Tony who put his happy face on the CBS network through some very tough negotiations. Tony was a genuine star, a master of everything that he touched.
Ralph E. Becker
I met Tony in 1995. He came to my office in New York to visit Bob Chaisson. Although I had no previous knowledge of him, Tony was so kind, humble and open that we instantly became friends.
Compared to him, my years in the television business were few, and yet he made me feel like I was the longtime veteran broadcaster and he was the novice.
Over the years, we ran into each other once or twice a year at conventions or industry dinners. He was the positive, smiling face that welcomed you to whatever event he hosted. Always words of encouragement and support were the first things out of his mouth. Last April during NAB, I was fortunate enough to see Tony at the Bellagio. He was, as always, tan, dapper and incredibly gracious. Seeing him always made my day.
His warmth and spirit will be missed.
Bal Harbour, Fla.
I already miss that big, bear hug. I know he’s making the rounds in heaven.
I want Mary and the rest of the extended Malara family to know that Barbara and I will include them in our prayers.
Vice President and General Manager
WFXG Augusta, Ga.
Tony was a wonderful gentleman who could light up a room with his smile. Truly one of the giants of the broadcast industry. He will be missed.
WVVH-TV Wainscott, N.Y.