Larry Pollock, the former general manager of 6abc whose leadership helped make it the market’s dominant news channel, died Jan. 31. He was 86.
In Philadelphia, he was “the architect of the modern Channel 6,” Action News anchor Jim Gardner said in 6abc’s video of his passing. Pollock arrived at WPVI-TV in 1975 and transformed Channel 6 and Action News. He knew that audiences responded best to people, so he brought on the right talent and put them in the right places.
“He did very well, but he genuinely enjoyed it,” daughter Jackie Kane said. “He liked the challenges.”
Pollock grew up in the Bronx, N.Y. He attended The City College of New York and started his 45-year career at ABC in 1956, serving as manager of research for ABC Radio and director of advertising and research for WABC-TV, ABC’s television network in New York City.
He met his wife, Carol Pollock, at the Catskills. (“Ours was a ‘mixed’ marriage,” Lawrence joked in 2013. Carol Pollock was from Brooklyn.) The two married in 1959. Carol Pollock died in 2013.
In 1963, he moved to Albany, N.Y. to join Capital Cities. Leaving New York City, especially for a job at a smaller media company, was an eyebrow-raiser, but that small media company bought ABC in 1985 and then was bought, in turn, by The Walt Disney Co., which rebranded it as the Disney-ABC Television Group in 1996.
At ABC, Pollock worked his way up through the ranks. He moved to Buffalo, where he was vice president and general manager of WKBW-TV. Then, in 1975, his career took him and his family to Philadelphia. He started there as vice president and general manager for WPVI-TV, then became president and general manager.
In 1991, Pollock was appointed president of Capital Cities/ABC station group. He retired in 2000.
“He believed very strongly in doing the right thing, and that getting ahead in business and life had to be done the right way or it wasn’t worth doing,” son David Pollock said.
Pollock was also involved in civic organizations and philanthropy. He was a longtime fan of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. His family knew him as a good storyteller.
Much of his philanthropy was focused on the Jewish community, particularly the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the Abramson Center for Jewish Life. He served as president of the Jewish Publishing Group, on the board of trustees of the Jewish Federation and as a board member of Main Line Reform Temple.
“When you hear about what leading a Jewish life is — honesty and integrity and being philanthropic and mitzvahs and stuff — he had a strong sense of ethics,” Kane said. “He really did. He was generous.”
Pollock is survived by his brother Michael Plancher and his wife Marilyn Plancher; sister-in-law June Hirsh; daughter Jackie Kane and her husband David Kane; daughter Debbi Lindenberg and her husband Howard Lindenberg; son David Pollock and grandchildren Michael Kane, William Kane, Jessica Lindenberg and Nicky Lindenberg.
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