Roger M. King
- December 8
) was an American television
and media executive for King World Productions
. He is credited with launching the careers of such noted television stars as Oprah Winfrey
, Dr. Phil
and Alex Trebek
King World Productions
became chairman of the board
of King World Productions in 1977. His father, Charles King
, had founded King World in 1964.
Under Roger King's leadership, King World became a leading distributor of popular syndicated television programming. Among the successful daytime television shows launched by Roger King were the Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil. King was also credited with launching the syndicated news magazine, Inside Edition. King also created Wheel of Fortune starring Pat Sajak and Vanna White, which, according to CBS, has been the number one rated syndicated television show for the past 23 years. Jeopardy!, which was also created by King World Productions under Roger King, has been one of the top three syndicated shows for 22 years.
Roger King joined CBS
in 2000 following the merger
of King World Productions with the broadcasting network. King served as the chief executive officer
of CBS Television
Distribution from 2000 until his unexpected death in 2007. King was responsible for the syndicated sale of reruns of several major CBS prime-time shows, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
, The Amazing Race
, Everybody Loves Raymond
and America's Next Top Model
King was officially inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable
Hall of Fame in 1992. He was also inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters
Hall of Fame in 2004.
Roger King had a reputation for throwing lavish industry parties. In January of 1998, during the NATPE
convention in New Orleans
, Roger King rented out the Louisiana Superdome
for the evening and hired Elton John
to entertain his guests. Remembering his early struggles in his own career, Roger King was known for reaching out his hand to newcomers in the industry and often availing himself as a mentor and advisor.
King was a summer resident of Bay Head, New Jersey.
Roger King unexpectedly suffered a stroke
at his home in Boca Raton, Florida
, on December 7
. He died at a nearby hospital on December 8
, at the age of 63. He was survived by his wife, Raemali, and three daughters, Kellie, Anna Rose and Lucinda.
Oprah Winfrey released a statement on the news of King's death saying, "I will never forget what he did for me. And this industry will never forget his legendary presence. He was truly a great guy"