Rudolph “Ralph” Maximilian Baruch was born on August 5, 1923, and died on March 3, 2016.
He was a CBS executive and the first president and chief executive of Viacom.
In 1943, Ralph was hired as an engineer at Empire Broadcasting, and then later as an ad salesman at New York’s DuMont Network affiliate and with the Los Angeles Times’s Consolidated Television Film Sales in the eastern United States.
He became an account executive for CBS Films, in 1954.
In the early part of him arriving in the United States, Ralph Baruch married 17-year-old Elizabeth “Lilo” Bachrach, who was also a refugee from Frankfurt.
She died in 1959.
Later, Ralph Baruch remarried to Jean Ursell de Mountford
Ralph Baruch later became vice president of CBS and general manager of CBS Enterprises, the company’s cable and television syndication division
The idea of Viacom was spun off from CBS Films in 1971 amid new FCC rules forbidding television networks from owning syndication companies.
Using the Viacom brand, Ralph started cable networks including Showtime and Lifetime (originally known as The Cable Health Network).
Ralph Baruch became the chairman of Viacom in 1983, and later acquired Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, which brought networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, The Movie Channel and VH1 into the portfolio
Also, Ralph Baruch was a co-founder of C-SPAN.
And, he played a leading role in getting Congress to pass the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, which deregulated the cable industry.
Sumner Redstone, in 1987 purchased Viacom and replaced Baruch as chairman, keeping him on only as a consultant.
During 2006, Ralph Baruch was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.
Ralph Baruch passed away at 92 yrs old.