Don Browne Dies: Former NBC News & Telemundo Executive Was 80

Former NBC News and Telemundo executive Don Browne has died due to complications from a brain tumor. He was 80 years old.

Browne began his career at CBS News before pivoting to NBC in 1979 and remained with the company for more than 30 years. Two of the positions he held was NBC News bureau chief and later president of Miami local affiliate WTVJ, which credits Browne with “helping forge the careers of others and pushing NBC News to bring on more women and minorities,” in a tribute released on Wednesday.

He was also the executive news director of The Today Show and acting president of NBC News who oversaw the creation of the news magazine series, Dateline.

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In 2005, he became president of Telemundo, a position he held until his retirement in 2011. Months before his official exit, Browne tended to the next generation of journalists—including yours truly—with an invitation to connect with executives over lunch and an invitation to cover the Billboard Latin Music Awards months before his exit.

One of the executives who participated in the initiative was Michelle Alban, former VP of Corporate Communications for NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, who remembered Browne in a tribute posted to Instagram alongside a photo taken in 2008 when he was inducted into the B&C’s Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

“‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ — Isaac Newton. This quote reminds me of one of my most influential mentors, Don Browne. He was more than just a mentor in my career. He taught me so much more. While he had many accomplishments in the industry, he constantly reinforced the importance of community and, most importantly– family. Thank you, Don, for everything you have done for me and my family. I am eternally grateful to you,” she wrote.

Browne was married to Maria Browne who died in 2001 from cancer. He is survived by their sons Christopher and Ryan Browne and their respective families.

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