Robert F. Blake, publicity director for CBS during the 1950s and ’60s, died May 13 of lung cancer at his home in Bridgehampton, Long Island. He was 85.
Over the course of his career, Blake worked with CBS, CBS Cable, NBC, the Westinghouse Broadcasting Co. and, most recently, Goodman Media Intl., where he was responsible for the Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS and NBC.
Blake was in charge of publicity for shows including “I Love Lucy,” “The Jack Benny Show,” “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show,” “Gunsmoke,” “Perry Mason” and “Playhouse 90.”
The New York native began his communications career as a reporter and editor at the New Yorker magazine during the 1930s. In 1940, Blake moved to WOR Radio in New York, where he worked as a community editor before serving in the Army during WWII.
While in the Army Air Force’s public relations department, Blake often contributed to Stars and Stripes.
Blake resumed his PR career after the war, joining the radio and television divisions of CBS. He worked in numerous positions, including director of press information for the CBS television network in Los Angeles.
Blake served as director of press information for the Westinghouse Broadcasting Group W Prods. and Group W Films from 1961-74. During that time, Blake was in charge of publicity for the launch of “the all news” radio concept for WINS New York and KFWB Los Angeles, as well as for “The Merv Griffin Show.”
In 1981, Blake moved back to CBS, functioning as director of press information for the launch of CBS Cable in its first two years.
Blake subsequently shifted the course of his career, becoming a consultant to WPIX-TV, Independent Network News and the Overseas Press Club.
Blake served as director of media relations for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, where he played a part in bringing the Daytime Emmy Award nominations to live television, prior to joining Goodman Media Intl.