NBC Legend Grant Tinker Dead at 90

Another TV legend has passed on: Grant Tinker, former chairman of NBC, died on Monday at his California estate. He was 90.

Tinker served as CEO of the Peacock Network from 1981 through 1986, helping NBC escape last place by developing classics such as CheersFamily Ties and The Cosby Show. With onetime wife Mary Tyler Moore, he also formed production shingle MTM Enterprises, which produced the likes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (and its spinoff Rhoda), The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, St. Elsewhere and Hill Street Blues. He would eventually be inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1997.

“Grant Tinker was a great man who made an indelible mark on NBC and the history of television that continues to this day,” CEO of NBCUniversal Steve Burke said in a statement. “He loved creative people and protected them, while still expertly managing the business. Very few people have been able to achieve such a balance. We try to live up to the standards he set each and every day. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”

Today show anchor Matt Lauer announced Tinker’s passing on Wednesday’s broadcast (embedded below). A cause of death has not been reported.