Neville Lloyd Thomson, managing director for Screen Gems Australia, died of natural causes Jan. 20 in Sydney. He was 84.
A longtime exec at the precursor to Columbia Pictures Television, Thomson worked at the company from 1965 to 1978 starting as a sales manager for Australia. By the time he ankled his territory covered 67 countries.
Thomson served as program and publicity manager at ADS Channel 7 in Adelaide, he was then awarded a U.S. State Dept. grant that allowed him to study television abroad. For six months, he studied on both coasts, including a stint at KOGO-TV in San Diego.
Thomson did stints at Radio Station 3AW and Radio Station 3DB in Melbourne.
In 1965 he began work at the TV division of Columbia Pictures, then called Screen Gems Australia, as a sales manager. He helped established the production division in Australia with U.S. producer Dan Enright and produced several Australian TV shows.
Thomson was subsequently named managing director of the Australian, Far East and New Zealand territory. Screen Gems Australia was renamed Columbia Pictures Television, and in time he was promoted to VP for the territory.
In 1976, Thomson became supervisor for the European Zone for Columbia Pictures Television. As veep for two years, he was responsible for sales spanning 67 nations throughout the U.K., Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Communist Bloc countries. Thomson remained in this position until December 1978, when he returned to Australia to assume the title of VP for Australia, New Zealand and Asia for MCA Television Intl.
Thomson resigned in December 1981 to operate as veep for upstart Amicus Television until his retirement in 1987.
Survivors include his wife, Margery; three children; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.