David Lavin, CBS Television Studios’ SVP Business Affairs who also worked at its predecessor Paramount Pictures Television and Viacom Productions, died Wednesday of leukemia. He was 57.
A veteran TV business affairs negotiator, Lavin worked at CBS TV Stuidos (and its predecessor Paramount Pictures Television) since 2004. Before that he was in business affairs at Viacom Productions for almost 12 years, where he rose to SVP and head of the business affairs department.
“All of us here are devastated by David’s passing; he was a core member of our business affairs team and such an important part of our CBS family,” said David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios. “David was an exceptional, passionate executive who was entrusted with overseeing business matters for many of the studios’ most important series and term deals. We have missed his presence over the past few months during his illness and are deeply saddened by this tragic loss.”
Lavin was known at CBS Television Studios for his deep knowledge of the television business, his relationships in the industry, and his commitment to mentoring junior executives. With his background in computer science, he was responsible for developing and implementing valuable systems. He handled biz affairs for numerous series over the years including the NCIS franchise and CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery.
Most recently, the Los Angeles-born Lavin oversaw the studio’s business affairs for development and production at The CW and CBS All Access.
“We have a big hole in our business affairs department today,” said Dan Kupetz, EVP Business Affairs at CBS Television Studios. “David was a valued colleague and genuine collaborator, a dear friend, and a true teacher. He had terrific relationships throughout the company, an amazing depth of institutional knowledge and a complete understanding of our business. And, he did his work with genuine enthusiasm and loved to share his knowledge about our business with others. It was a privilege to work day in and day out with David, and we are feeling a tremendous sense of loss. Our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies go out to David’s wife, Karen, and his children, Alex, Samantha and Morgan.”
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations made in Lavin’s name to the Leukemia Research Foundation.