Robert M. Silberling, a veteran television executive and producer, died surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles on Monday, September 23, after an extended battle with ALS. He was 79.
He began his film career at the U.S.I.A. in Washington, D.C., where, under the leadership of Edward R. Murrow and George Stephens Jr., he produced such iconic documentaries as “Years of Lightning,” “Day of Drums,” and “Nine From Little Rock.”
Moving to Los Angeles to run post-production for Thomas-Leonard Productions, he went on to become an executive at ABC where, among many duties, he supervised the current programming department and was in charge of the network’s seminal suspense movies package.
At CBS for the balance of his network executive career, from 1976 to 1988, his titles included director of comedy development, vice president in charge of drama development, and vice president in charge of movies for television. He produced such movies as “Outback Bound” and “The Name on the Milk Carton” for television.
With his wife, Joyce, for the last 10 years, he spent the better part of each year at their home in West Tisbury.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two children, Tracey and Brad Silberling. He was also the brother of Louis and Martin Silberling.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, Sept. 30 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven at 10:30 am. The family will also hold a public memorial at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles on November 12 at 11:30 am.
Local arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs.