Robert Jacquemin, a pioneering TV syndication executive who led Buena Vista Television for a decade before leaving to build DreamWorks’ TV business, died Sunday in Montecito, CA. He was 80.
Jacquemin began his career in the TV business in the 1960s, first with Gardner Advertising and then Peters, Griffin & Woodward. He later was hired by Al Masini to join TeleRep as a regional sales representative in the early- to mid-’70s. He went on to join Paramount Television, where he became the head of the sales division and brought to market such shows as Cheers, Family Ties and Entertainment Tonight, among others.
In late 1984, he was hired at the Walt Disney Company and would become president of Buena Vista Television for a decade-long run. Career highlights at Disney included Siskel & Ebert, Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, The Golden Girls and, in one of the largest off-network syndication sales to date, Home Improvement.
He left the Disney in 1994 and was hired by Jeffrey Katzenberg to build the television business for DreamWorks.
Born on September 28, 1942, in St. Louis, Jacquemin would retire in the early 2000s, while maintaining a media consulting business where he and Scott Carlin collaborated on work including the sale of syndication rights to Unsolved Mysteries.
He is survived by his wife, Judie; two sons from a previous marriage, Chris — WME’s longtime digital chief — and Brian; brothers David and Steve and their sister Ginny; stepchildren Justin Marks and Taylor Marks; and seven grandchildren. A service for immediate family will be held July 16 in Santa Barbara. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest making a donation in his name to help fight diabetes.