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Obit: Former TV Academy President Doug Duitsman Dies

Held senior positions with Columbia Pictures Television and Warner Brothers Television.

Former president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Douglas Duitsman died on Sept. 17, after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 81.

Duitsman also held senior positions with Columbia Pictures Television and Warner Brothers Television, and was a public relations executive.

He grew up in Inglewood, California, studied journalism at Pepperdine University and enlisting in the U.S. Navy. Stationed in Hawaii — which did not receive live radio broadcasts from the mainland — he went on Hawaiian radio and re-created Major League Baseball games, which were being received over teletype. This led to work as a sportscaster with his own nightly show on Hawaiian television.

After returning to Southern California, he worked as a writer on Disney’s original "Mickey Mouse Club,"  then joined NBC as a publicist, eventually becoming director of the publicity department. He later became head of publicity at Screen Gems. When Screen Gems became the television division of Columbia Pictures, he served as a vic -president. He later moved to Warner Bros. as vice president of publicity and promotion.

He became a governor of the Television Academy’s public relations peer group, and in 1987 was elected president for a two-year term. He was also the founding chairman of the Television Publicity Executives Committee.

He retired in 1992, after 37 years in the entertainment industry.

He is survived by his wife Reba; two daughters, Karen Jensen and Joni Sears; two sons-in-law; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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