Earl Greenburg, former head of NBC Daytime who more recently served as chairman of the Palm Springs Film Festival, died of melanoma Feb. 1 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 61.
Known for his philanthropic activities in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, Greenburg chaired the Palm Springs Film Festival since 2004, helping the fest’s annual awards gala gain visibility in recent years with more stars and sell-out crowds.
Born in Philadelphia, he started his career as a lawyer. Greenburg moved to Los Angeles in 1977, where he was working as VP of the compliance and practices department at NBC when Brandon Tartikoff picked him as VP for daytime programming in 1981. He then worked as an independent TV producer for programs including “The Regis Philbin Show,” “The World’s Wildest Police Videos” and “The World’s Scariest Police Chases.”
After serving as president of Home Shopping Network in Tampa, Fla., he became an agent in the infomercial business, where Forbes magazine called him the Prince of Infomericials for his skill in putting deals together. He was a founding partner and chairman of Transactional Marketing Partners in Santa Monica and CEO of Total Marketing Partners in Palm Springs.
His charitable foundation also worked with desert charities including Desert AIDS Project, Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center and Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation. He established the Weiss Apartments in Santa Monica for people with HIV/AIDS as well as the desert’s Rick Weiss Humanitarian Awards, named for his late partner.
Earl is survived by his life partner David Peet; son, Ari, an agent; daughters Meredith, a stage manager and theater professor; and Kathryn; four grandchildren and two brothers.
Donations may be made to the Greenburg Family Foundation, 125 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Suite 203, Palm Springs, CA 92262.