NATPE Founder Lew Klein Dies

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BOCA RATON, FLA. — The world of broadcast television would be a different place without Lew Klein, who started his career in the 1950s in the programming department of WFIL (now ABC O&O WPVI-6) in Philadelphia.


From 1984 to 1993, Klein served as President of Gateway Communications, which owned four CBS affiliate stations in New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He was also at one time the executive producer of “American Bandstand.”

Klein, who has passed away at the age of 91, is also the founder and former President of NATPE.

In a statement released minutes before RBR+TVBR‘s June 13 deadlines, NATPE Chairman Andy Kaplan said, “It is with the deepest regret that we inform you that Lew Klein, NATPE’s founder and guiding light, has passed away. 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 until his passing.”

Kaplan sent condolences to Janet Klein, 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.”

Following his passion for teaching a new generation about the industry, Klein held the position of Adjunct Professor at the School of Communications at Temple University in Philadelphia for 65 years. Klein was honored several times at Temple for his service to the university and in 2017 the university’s School of Media and Communication was renamed the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication.

Klein was the recipient of NATPE’s President’s Award and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Gold Medal. He was also named “Broadcaster of the Year” by the Broadcast Pioneer’s Philadelphia Chapter and earned the Distinguished Education Service Award from the Broadcast Education Association.

In addition to his wife, Klein is survived by his his children Ellen and Stephen; granddaughter Anna and her husband, John; and great-grandchildren Oscar and Miriam.

A memorial service will be held for Klein at a forthcoming date.

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