International TV Distribution Vet Alan Silverbach Dies at 96

Alan Silverbach, former senior vice president of international distribution for 20th Century Fox, died on June 2 at his home in Bel Air, Calif. He was 96.

Silverbach was a pioneer in international TV distribution, starting in the industry in the 1940s and securing some of the first deals between American studios and international television networks. He also contributed to the creation of sales conventions held annually in Cannes. After working his way up the ranks at Fox over the course of 30 years, he left in 1977 to establish his own independent TV sales company.

Along with former Columbia Pictures TV exec Herb Lazarus, he founded The Silverbach-Lazarus Group, which drew programming from top producers Chuck Fries, Lorimar, Metromedia, and London Weekend Television. Silverbach retired from the company in 2010.

Born and raised in New York City, he joined the U.S. Air Force during World War II, and after the war, he was accepted into Fox’s training program for veterans. During his time there, he frequently traveled across Europe and Asia to meet clients and media companies while working to widen the scope of American TV.

Silverbach is survived by his wife Meredith, son Spencer, three grandchildren, and four nephews. His funeral will be held on June 11 at Los Angeles’ Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary.

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