Lawrence Bruce Taishoff, 73, for many years president and publisher of Broadcasting magazine (now Broadcasting & Cable), died Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Lawrence Bruce Taishoff, 73, president and publisher of Broadcasting magazine from 1973 to 1986 and prominent businessman in the Washington, D.C, area’s real estate and philanthropic circles, died in the Washington Hospital Center on Nov. 1 after a long illness. He suffered from complications of diabetes.
Mr. Taishoff’s father, Sol Taishoff, co-founded Broadcasting in 1931. The trade publication dominated the television, radio, cable and satellite media press. In 1986 the Los Angeles-based Times Mirror Corp. purchased the magazine for what was then and may remain the record price ever paid for a business trade publication, $75 million. Washington-based, but with bureaus in New York and Los Angeles, Broadcasting was known as “the bible of the industry,” and was required reading among radio and television’s owners and managers. It covered all aspects of the field but was unparalleled in expertise about government regulation of FCC licensed media. To this day, many in the field credit their first jobs to the weekly magazine’s classified pages.
Larry Taishoff graduated from Duke University in 1955 and served in U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division as a paratrooper. He was stationed in Germany before he joined Broadcasting in 1958. He quickly gravitated to the business side of the publication and soon took over its publishing operations. He was accredited as a White House correspondent and was a member of the White House Press Association. For many years he was co-author of the radio and television segment of the Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year. He was a trustee of the Washington Journalism Center and a member of the National Press Foundation.
After his father’s death in 1982 Mr. Taishoff endowed an award in his father’s honor, presented annually at the NPF dinner. His interest in the Broadcast Pioneers organization led eventually to a major philanthropy, supporting the ever-enlarging Library of American Broadcasting, now located at the University of Maryland in College Park.
The Taishoff family’s real estate interests multiplied alongside the magazine business, first established in Washington’s National Press Club Building. Broadcasting moved its permanent headquarters in 1953 to DeSales Street, a one-block-long passage alongside the Mayflower Hotel. Starting with one building, the company took over and restored several other sites in that enclave, including locations for Filene’s department store, the Washington bureau of ABC News and Broadcasting’s own seven-story building. Mr. Taishoff maintained offices and residences in Washington, the western shore of Maryland and in Naples, Fla. The family’s charitable operations are assigned principally to the Taishoff Family Foundation, which began by concentrating on journalistic causes broadened its interests in the field of health, including broad assistance to the National Down Syndrome Society and Kennedy Krieger’s Down Syndrome Clinic. His interest in Duke and in swimming (he was on the varsity team) led to a generous donation to refurbish the school’s swimming facility, now called the Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion.
After the sale of the magazine, Mr. Taishoff, who had always considered broadcast ownership a conflict of interest during his magazine years, briefly entered the field as co-owner of Chuckie Broadcasting (named for his younger brother who was killed in a bicycle accident as a child).
Larry Taishoff was born in Washington on August 30, 1933, the son of Sol and Betty (Tash) Taishoff. He is survived by three sons—Robert Paul, Randall Lawrence and Jonathan Bradford and their wives Laurie, Laine and Martha—from his first marriage to Nancy Lee Stuckey. He is also survived by seven grandchildren.
He was a member of the of the Society of Professional Journalists, Washington’s Cosmos Club, Woodmont Country Club, Collier Athletic Club, Bryce Resort Club and the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity.
Visitation is from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, at Joseph Gawler’s & Sons funeral home, 5130 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. A memorial service will be held at Gawler’s at noon on Friday, Nov. 3. Interment will follow at the Washington Hebrew Congregational Memorial Park in Washington.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association.