Bud Paxson, Station Owner And HSN Co-Founder, Dies At 80
LOWELL WHITE “BUD” PAXSON, who built a broadcasting empire from a small station in upstate NEW YORK to the creation of the HOME SHOPPING NETWORK, PAX TV, and a radio group in FLORIDA’s largest markets, died JANUARY 9th in MONTANA at 80.
PAXSON owned stations in NEWARK, NY and JAMESTOWN, NY before buying WWQT-A/DUNEDIN-CLEARWATER, FL, where he began on-air direct-response selling of products, a format that moved to television (with partner ROY SPEER) as HOME SHOPPING NETWORK, locally in 1982 and nationally in 1985. PAXSON then bought TV and radio stations, including 45 radio stations in markets like MIAMI, TAMPA, JACKSONVILLE, and ORLANDO as well as COOKEVILLE, TN.
PAXSON sold the radio stations to CLEAR CHANNEL in 1997 for $693 million and sold HSN and the TV stations to BARRY DILLER’s SILVER KING BROADCASTING in 1996. PAXSON then bought UHF TV stations across the country and, after a brief run with an infomercial network as INFOMALL (inTV), PAXSON founded PAX TV. That network aired from 1998-2005, when PAXSON resigned and the network became first “i: INDEPENDENT TELEVISION” and then ION.
NAB Pres./CEO GORDON SMITH said, “Broadcasters have lost a friend and a legend in the passing of BUD PAXSON, who was a tenacious advocate for over-the-air radio and television. BUD’s support for program carriage rules as part of the 1992 Cable Act helped sustain diverse voices on the airwaves and allowed free and local broadcasting to remain a competitive force in today’s multichannel world. NAB mourns the loss of a true giant of broadcasting.”