The long-time editor and publisher of TV Digest, Communications Daily and other telecom industry pubs was 86.
Albert Warren, long-time owner, editor and publisher of Warren Communications News, died Sunday of a stroke at his Washington home. He was 86.
Warren bought the company known then as Television Digest Inc. in 1961. Today, as Warren Communications News, it publishes Communications Daily, Consumer Electronics Daily and Washington Internet Daily, among many others.
A 1942 graduate of Ohio State, Warren served in a U.S. Navy radio communications unit in the Pacific and Alaska during World War II. He joined the fledgling Television Digest as a reporter in 1945, when only eight U.S. TV stations were on the air. He bought the newsletter from Walter Annenberg’s Triangle Publications.
Warren’s company began expanding in the 1970s, after his oldest son, Paul, joined the firm, adding publications such as Satellite Week and Public Broadcasting Report. Its premier publication, Communications Daily, launched in 1981, followed by nearly a score of other dailies, weeklies and biweeklies focusing on segments of the communications business.
They targeted senior executives and policymakers within industries, providing insider information, especially on government activities that would affect their companies, plus industry efforts to influence government. Son Daniel joined the company in 1984, and it grew to a peak of over 70 full-time employees. In 2000, Albert Warren sold the company to Paul and Daniel. He remained chairman, editor and publisher, continuing to edit every publication every day until 2005.
Warren was an absolute perfectionist when it came to news reporting and writing, and in the pre-computer era, and after, his trademark purple ink tattooed many an errant comma. He was a journalistic craftsman of the old school, thoroughly committed to objectivity, fairness and, above all, accuracy.
As a young reporter he became particularly interested in the new medium of cable TV, writing about it from its very start. He chronicled cable as it transformed TV through the advent of satellite distribution, to its emergence as a supplier of Internet and telephone services.
Among his awards Warren counted: Membership in the Halls of Fame of the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Specialized Information Publishers Association; the first Ohio State U. School of Journalism Distinguished Alumnus Award, in 1995; Publisher of the Year award from the Specialized Information Publishers Association, 1985; and the Broadcasters Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, 1982. His proudest achievement, however, was being named outstanding journalism student when he graduated from Ohio State.
Warren was born in 1920 in Warren, Ohio, to Russian- born parents. He grew up on a dairy farm with no electricity or running water in Gustavus, Ohio. He plowed fields behind a horse and weeded by hand; he hated the work and longed to make a place for himself in the larger world. Few national decisionmakers in the broadcasting, cable television and telecommunications fields did not know him personally or by reputation.
Survivors include wife Margaret, children Ellen Warren, Paul Warren, Claire Warren, Daniel Warren, Thomas Warren and Joan Warren, 14 grandchildren and 2 great- grandchildren.
This article is reprinted from Communications Daily with permission.