Greenwich resident Raymond E. Joslin, former president and group head of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, dead at 76
Raymond E. Joslin, former president and group head of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication and senior vice president and member of the board of directors of Hearst Corporation, died today in Greenwich, Conn. The cause was stomach cancer. He was 76.
Joslin was a cable television pioneer, a U.S. media ambassador and a corporate entrepreneur, having carved successful careers in both the cable television systems and cable programming industries. For more than 35 years, he built a career with a vision for growth, an eye for quality and a commitment to corporate excellence.
"There is no doubt that Ray left a remarkable imprint through his work in cable television," said Steven R. Swartz, president & CEO, Hearst Corporation. "He was a major player in the expansion of our company beyond a print-centric organization to a leader in cable networks, programming and syndication." "I had the great pleasure of recruiting Ray to Hearst and working with him for more than 20 years," said Frank A. Bennack, Jr., executive vice chairman, Hearst Corporation. "He was key to Hearst's collaboration in the founding of the A&E and Lifetime networks and was one of the most respected leaders in the industry. He was unrivaled in his success. Plus, he was a true gentleman and a loyal friend." Joslin was an initial partner in Continental Cablevision, Inc., shortly after its formation in the mid-1960s. He was responsible for all areas of senior management, finance, marketing, franchising, system construction, joint-venture development and administration, cable network programming, made-for-television movie production, programming distribution and electronic publishing. During his career, he was either totally or substantially responsible for the franchising and construction of approximately 50 cable television systems and the formation of about 20 successful companies in the media and entertainment industry.
In 1980 and 1981, he served as president of the California Cable Television Association, the industry's largest state or regional trade association and, in 1969, the president of the Ohio Cable Television Association. He held various national and state industry positions including an appointment by the California legislature to the Senate-Assembly Joint Committee on Telecommunications.
In 1979 and 1980, he led the California trade association's statewide rate deregulation and minority employment activities and was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as vice chairman of the Foundation for Community Service Television. The California association's successful efforts ultimately set the standard for national deregulation of the industry in 1985.
After he arrived at Hearst Corporation in 1980 as group head of its Cable Communications Group, the unit realized substantial growth. In 1981, Hearst joined ABC in developing several of the world's leading cable networks, including Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women, and A&E Networks including HISTORY, BIO and The History Channel International, the latter with both ABC and NBC, Inc. Subsequently, Joslin oversaw Hearst's investment in ESPN and its portfolio of networks. He was founding co-chairman of the boards of directors of A&E Networks and Lifetime and served as a director on the board of ESPN. He also sat on the boards of directors of MetaTV and the National Magazine Company Limited in London.
Joslin's appointment in 1989 to head the Entertainment & Syndication group gave him the opportunity to work with other businesses of the corporation such as King Features Syndicate, the world's largest and most respected distributor and licensor of comics, which include Popeye, Betty Boop, Flash Gordon and Beetle Bailey.
Joslin was a trustee of Trinity College for 14 years, former chairman and a founding trustee for life of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, and trustee of Boys Hope of New York, the American Museum of the Moving Image, the International Radio and Television Society and The Cable Center and Museum. He was a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), having served on its National Emmy Awards Committee, and a member of the Cable Pioneers Club. He served as a national director of the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges from 1983 to 1988. For the past several years, Joslin was a contributor and board member of the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Conn.
In 1990, he was named by Channels magazine as one of 10 men and women who would help shape television in the decade ahead. In 1995, Cablevision magazine named him a finalist worthy of "honorable mention" in its selection of the 20 people who have had the most impact on the cable television industry since its inception in the late 1940s. Each year from 1998 through 2002, Joslin was named by CableFAX magazine as one of its Top 100 "Heavy Hitters" in the industry. In 2000, he was given the prestigious Avatar Award by the Broadcast and Cable Financial Management Association (BCFMA); received the Mogul Award from the American Museum of the Moving Image; and was inducted into the Silver Circle of the New York chapter of NATAS.
Joslin received a number of other accolades, including the 1993 Alumni Achievement Award from Trinity College, his college's highest honor given to a graduate for achievement in business. In 1998, he was given the President's Leadership Medal and Alumni Medal for Excellence; and in 2003 he was awarded the Eigenbrodt Cup, the highest and most prestigious alumni award the college can bestow for service to Trinity.
Joslin was a trustee of The St. Elmo's Foundation and a governor of the Delta Phi National Board of Directors. He was a director of the Japan-United States Television and Radio Institute and the Breast Cancer Alliance. In April 2008, the Cable Center selected Joslin as a member of The Cable Hall of Fame Class of 2008.
Most recently, Joslin served as CEO and chairman of the board of directors of CAD Sciences, a company creating technology designed to enable early detection of breast and prostate cancers.
He is survived by his wife, Alicia, children, Jennifer, David and Jeffrey, and six grandchildren.
A memorial service, to be announced at a later date, will be held the second week of September at Christ Church in Greenwich, Conn. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Joslin Family Scholarship fund at Trinity College, 300 Summit Street, Hartford, CT 06106, phone: 860-297-2000. The fund, which the Joslin family established in 1999, has to date provided 90 scholarships to assist students with college costs.