Pinnacle Broadcasting owner Philip D. Marella, who spent almost five decades in broadcast management, died of natural causes on Friday, Dec. 9, in Stamford Conn. He was 82.
Marella started in sales for WGR-TV in Buffalo, N.Y., and eventually rose to VP of operations at Lin Broadcasting, also serving on its board of directors.
Marella ventured into station ownership beginning with WMGC-TV (WIVT-TV) in Binghamton, N.Y., in 1978 and culminating as the owner and CEO of Pinnacle Broadcasting Co., which owned and operated 28 radio stations across the U.S.
Marella also served his industry and community for many years as an active board member of the Radio Advertising Bureau, the North Carolina Assn. of Broadcasters and the Binghamton Symphony.
Marella was born in Colle, Italy, and moved with his family to Republic, Penn., in 1930. After serving in the Marine Corps, Phil attended California State Teachers College (since renamed California U.) in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1955, and received his Master’s Degree in radio and television from Syracuse U. the following year.
Donations may be made to Dana’s Angels Research Trust (DanasAngels.org), a charity founded by the Marella family to fund medical research, medical education and medical care for Niemann-Pick Type C disease, a rare, fatal illness afflicting two of Marella’s grandchildren. Survivors include Marella’s wife of 56 years, Lucinda Minor Marella; three children; and 11 grandchildren.