Oliver E. Treyz, the colorful former president of ABC Television who in the late ’50s brought ABC into a competitive standing with the much larger NBC and CBS, died June 14 after a long illness.
Treyz, who lived for many years in Scarsdale and New York City, died at the Actors’ Fund Retirement Home in Englewood, N. J. He was 80.
Although his background was in advertising and sales, Treyz proved to be a dynamic programmer at ABC with “Maverick,” “The Rifleman,” “Cheyenne,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “Hawaiian Eye,” “Adventures in Paradise,” “The Untouchables,” “The Real McCoys” and “The Flintstones” among the hits that aired during his five-year tenure as president, 1957-62.
Despite his success, Treyz was forced to resign from ABC after public outcry over the violent content of an episode of the now-forgotten series “Bus Stop,” starring teen idol Fabian as a psychopathic killer. The program led to several congressional inquiries into TV violence.
Treyz joined ABC Radio in 1948 as a presentation writer. In 1951, he became director of research and sales, and, in 1954, he became director of the radio network. Treyz left in 1954 to become the founding president of the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB). Two years later, he returned to ABC as exec VP in charge of ABC-TV, and he became president in 1957 at the age of 39.
Following his departure from ABC, Treyz founded his own company, TV Sales, an advertising consultancy firm.
Treyz is survived by two sons, Donald of San Diego and James of Chappaqua, N.Y.; and two granddaughters. His wife, Janet, predeceased him.