(CelebrityAccess) — Norman Pattiz, a broadcasting executive who founded the syndicated radio network Westwood One, has reportedly died. He was 79.
His passing was reported by All Access, who said that he died on Sunday but did not provide any details on a cause of death.
Pattiz began his career in broadcasting at Los Angeles’ KCOP-TV in 1970 before launching Westwood One, first syndicating The Sound of Motown but soon expanded to other properties, including the comedic Dr. Demento and Mary Turner’s Off The Record, which featured music from popular bands along with interviews.
In 1981, Pattiz branched out into syndication of live concerts, starting with a performance by Chuck Berry, and soon expanding to shows by artists such as Journey and the Rolling Stones.
In 2007, Westwood One was acquired by CBS Radio with backing from the private equity firm Gores Group, shortly before the company was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange for failing to maintain capital requirements.
Although Pattiz long remained a major shareholder and board chairman, he increasingly stepped back from day-to-day management of the company until he was succeeded by Mark Stone, managing director the Gores Group, in 2010.
Along with Westwood One, Pattiz also founded Courtside Entertainment Group in 2010 and Launchpad, which became the PodcastOne podcasting network.
Pattiz was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016, and was also a recipient of the Library of American Broadcasting’s Giants of Broadcasting Award.
Pattiz was married to Mary Turner, the former Westwood One radio personality, who later served as chairman of the board for the Betty Ford Clinic.
Pattiz was also a longtime regent of the University of California but was forced to step down in 2017 after comedian and actress Heather McDonald released a recording of Pattiz making inappropriate comments to her.