Julius Barnathan, the former president of broadcast operations and engineering at ABC who made numerous contributions to the advancement of television technology, died Dec. 2 of lung cancer at his home in Long Island, N.Y. He was 70.
At ABC, Barnathan guided the technical production of six presidential campaigns and nine Olympic broadcasts. He received Emmys for the Summer Games in 1976 and 1984, and the Winter Games in 1980 and 1988.
A recipient of numerous awards for his broadcasting contributions, Barnathan also was honored for making TV more accessible to the hearing-impaired by guiding the development of the technology for closed-captioning.
A veteran of World War II, Barnathan served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-46. Following the war he received his B.A. from Brooklyn College and then an M.A. from Columbia U. in mathematical statistics.
Barnathan joined ABC in 1954 as supervisor of ratings and rose to become president of ABC’s broadcast operations and engineering division.
During his 37-year career at the company, Barnathan held a variety of positions, including VP of television research, VP for affiliated stations, president of the owned television stations and VP and general manager of the television network.
After his retirement in 1992, Barnathan remained a consultant to ABC on industry technology. He was elected this year as an honorary member of the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers.
Barnathan is survived by his wife, three children and three grandchildren.
Contributions may be made to the Julius Barnathan Memorial Fund, National Captioning Institute, 1900 Gallows Road, Ste. 3000, Vienna, VA 22182; or to Differentiation Therapy Research Fund, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, c/o Charles Young, 1275 York Ave., New York, NY 10021.