Robert Blackmore, a longtime NBC ad sales executive who rose to EVP and oversaw the industry’s first billion-dollar upfront, has died. His family said he died March 9, a week before his 91st birthday.
A Los Angeles native, Blackmore served in the Army Air Corps before launching his TV career as a page and sales service rep for CBS in Hollywood. He joined crosstown rival NBC in 1953 as a sales supervisor with NBC Films. After stints in San Francisco and Chicago, Blackmore returned to LA in 1963 to open a sales office for the Peacock’s Today and The Tonight Show, the latter featuring then-new host Johnny Carson.
Two years later, Blackmore moved east to become a network account exec in New York, where he would spend the rest of his career. There he rose to EVP Ad Sales, presiding over NBC’s record-breaking $1 billion upfront in 1985-1986. He also handled ad sales and marketing for NBC’s coverage of three Summer Olympics, in 1980, 1988 and 1992.
Blackmore officially “retired” in 1994 — the year he was inducted into the National Sales Hall of Fame — but three years, he later co-founded Studio One Networks, the first Internet syndicated content marketing company.
He is survived by daughters Robin and Karyn and their husbands, along with four grandsons.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.