NEW YORK — Richard Katz, a reporter who covered cable and broadcast TV for Variety and Daily Variety, died of respiratory failure at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan early Tuesday. He was 33.
Katz had covered the TV industry as a reporter for various publications since graduating from NYU in 1988.
Bearded and bespectacled, Katz gave off the appearance of a serious, almost scholarly journalist, but in reality, he found covering showbiz a hoot, frequently regaling his colleagues with anecdotes about the foibles of the industries he was covering.
Although he never took himself too seriously, Katz’s professionalism shone through in his writing.
He joined Variety’s New York bureau in January 1998. He focused on cable, although he also wrote many stories on broadcasting and new media.
Outside Variety, he was working on the script for a documentary on maverick movie director Abel Ferrara (“Bad Lieutenant,” “King of New York”) for the Independent Film Channel.
Before joining Variety, Katz covered the broadcast networks as a senior editor for Media Week from March 1997 to January 1998. He was the programming editor for the weekly Multichannel News from March 1993 to February 1997 and was executive editor of Multichannel’s sister publication, the biweekly Cablevision magazine, from January ’91 to March 1993.
Katz started his career as an assistant editor from May 1988 to January ’91 for the now-defunct Channels magazine, which was funded by Norman Lear.
Katz is survived by his wife, Julie; his father and mother, George and Evelyn; and his younger brother, Doug.
In lieu of flowers, Katz’s family requests donations to Cable Positive, 1500 Broadway, 29th floor, New York, N.Y. 10036. Please include a note with any donations specifying that it is in memory of Richard Katz.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Hellman Memorial Chapels, 15 State St., in Spring Valley, Rockland County, N.Y.