Owen Simon, a longtime PR executive for Westinghouse and Group W Productions, died April 2 in Los Angeles. He was 93.
Simon was known for his savvy promotional campaigns on behalf of such series as “The Mike Douglas Show” and “The Merv Griffin Show” and other productions from Westinghouse’s Group W Prods. syndication division. Simon was also well-loved in the industry for his kindness and wit.
When Simon retired in 1997 after a 40-year career, he told Variety he was looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren. “With five grandsons, it seems time to start getting them in shape as a basketball team,” he quipped.
A native of Beaver Falls, Pa., Simon got his start in the industry at Pittsburgh radio stations KVQ and KDKA. In 1957, he was named publicity manager for Westinghouse’s KDKA.
Ten years later, Simon moved to Group W, rising to publicity chief in 1977. He worked for Westinghouse and CBS in Philadelphia and New York before moving to Los Angeles in 1978 when “Mike Douglas Show” relocated to the West Coast.
Simon closed out his career as an executive and later consultant to CBS’ Eyemark Entertainment syndication division.
In retirement, Simon enjoyed writing songs and poems for friends and family. Among his passions were penguins, Broadway shows and Scrabble. He spent 17 years as a volunteer at Los Angeles’ Skirball Cultural Center.
Simon was married for 41 years to Selma Simon, who predeceased him. Survivors include a son, Ed; two daughters, Julie and Melissa; and five grandsons.
The family requests that donations be made to Skirball Cultural Center.