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RIP Robin Leach — a fun and smart tv exec and content producer

August 25, 2018
RIP Robin Leach; a fun and smart tv exec and content producer

I have a very funny and odd  story regarding Robin Leach. He was the creator of “ Lifestyles of the  Rich and Famous”— and knew how to build big audiences  and shows that were aspirational to  viewers. 

Back in the day— when AOL was the trend setter in original content creation and commerce for online audiences ; Robin Leach wanted to meet me and to create a high end broadband and mobile streaming video and one click ordering concierge like service. Plus  a new subscription service that bundled samples from manufacturers in conjunction with a credit card company; he was high energy and had lots of innovative ideas. 

He called and we talked on the phone; he noted he had read a nice profile on us in the New York Times and was grilling me on Microsoft and our company wide meeting;  why I had all employees sign a 6 foot dinosaur  and what I had done to motivate  our employee base.

He asked if I was scheduled to be on the West  Coast  soon and how we should meet. The next trip out West — I reached out to him and set up the meeting; a breakfast  at a hotel in SF. I flew out to SF, checked into the hotel,  at 600 pm, rushed to a dinner at 700 pm PST— and came back to  my room exhausted at 930 pm .

I jumped into the shower— put on my sleeping attire— and went to bed—as I got comfortable; I felt something amiss in the bed— I turned the sheets and found a bottle of champagne, a jar of caviar—and a T rex dinosaur   bobble head — with no note.

I was a bit creeped out— I called down to the concierge and  asked what was going on;  he said “ Mr Leach delivered the packaged and insisted we install it in your room”.

When I met Robin the next day and mentioned the gesture he said—“ Ted… better than a horses head right? I am making you an offer you  can’t refuse”…

That was so “ nineties”..

He was truly a trend setter as this obit notes.