Television syndication sales pioneer Charles “Charley” Keys died February 24 in San Diego of complications from diabetes. He was 80.
Keys served in WWII and worked his way through Oklahoma State University as a singer and emcee. He then worked in sales and executive positions at television stations in Texas and Oklahoma, rising to vice president and general manager of both KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City, and KVII-TV, Amarillo.
In 1968, he became western division manager in Los Angeles of Four Star Television where he syndicated such series as “Big Valley,” “The Rifleman” and “Dick Powell Theater.”
He was vice president of the western division of Paramount TV and spent five years with Colbert Television Sales where he sold game shows “Joker’s Wild,” “Tic Tac Dough” and “Bullseye.” For the past 15 years, he headed Keys Entertainment, which served as sales rep for a number of independent syndicators.
He is survived by his wife, Jeri, seven children, numerous grandchildren and two sisters.