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Natpe founder Klein dies aged 91

Lew Klein, the US TV veteran and founder of the National Association of Television Program Executives (Natpe), has passed away at the age of 91.

Lew Klein

Klein started his career in the 1950s in the programming department of Philadelphia-based broadcaster WFIL (now WPVI) and went on to become president of affiliate station operator Gateway Communications from 1984 to 1993.

He was also the executive producer of popular dance show American Bandstand, credited with helping to launch the career of Dick Clark, and was the founder and former president of Natpe, which launched in 1964. He was also the founder and president of the Natpe Educational Foundation.

Klein also held the position of adjunct professor at the School of Communications at Temple University in Philadelphia for 65 years and in 2017 the university’s School of Media and Communication was renamed the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication.

Natpe chairman Andy Kaplan described Klein as the organisation’s “founder and guiding light.”

“Lew was the soul and inspiration for Natpe and was tireless in his work and support of both Natpe and the Natpe Foundation, which he founded and served as president of until his passing.

“Our condolences go out to Janet, Lew’s wife, who was by his side for a lifetime and always present at Natpe events, and to Lew’s entire family. We will dearly miss his wise counsel, smiling face and his class. He was one of a kind.”

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