Former ABC, Syndie Exec Hal Golden Dies At 86

Harold “Hal” Golden, a television industry leader and former President of ABC Films, died June 30 at his home in Capistrano Beach, Calif. He was 86.

Born Harold Goldstein in Niagara Falls, N.Y., on Aug. 4, 1924, Golden was a sales executive, inventor and patent holder. His TV career spanned nearly half a century, beginning at MCA Universal Television (1953-1965) as a sales executive in the Chicago office. He rose to executive vice president.

From MCA he moved to ABC Films (1965-1970) as president. He left ABC to pursue his passion for tennis and created The World Series of Tennis under the banner of Golden TV (1970-1980). He jumped back into syndication with the newly formed Worldvision Enterprises as head of worldwide sales in 1980-1985.

Golden served in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force 1942-1946. He took advantage of the GI Bill and graduated from Syracuse University in 1950 with a BS in radio and psychology. While in college and immediately afterwards, he acted, did voice-over work, wrote and directed local programs in the Buffalo, N.Y., area, was an ad agency account exec, and found his way to New York City where he wrote promotion copy for WNBC.

His eye for the theatre and good sense of production encouraged Phil Donahue to move his talk show from Dayton, Ohio, to Chicago where it took off and became television history.

Golden was an early pioneer and guiding force behind NATPE (National Association for Television Program Executives), and was also a founding member of the Association of Program Distributors.


He was instrumental in bringing Australia’s No. 1 talk show, The Don Lane Show to America, and launched Aaron Spelling’s Love Boat into U.S. syndication.

He is survived by three children: Richard Golden of Dallas, Margery (Golden) Rubinstein of Capistrano Beach, Calif., and Donald Golden of Los Angeles.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Saddleback Valley, 654 Camino de los Mares, San Clemente, CA 92673

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