TV executive led film festival

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Earl Greenburg, 61, a former television executive and philanthropic businessman who served as chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival since 2004, died Friday at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage after a battle with melanoma, his family announced.

A Philadelphia native with a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Greenburg broke into television with NBC as vice president of compliance and practices in 1977.

He soon moved to the creative side and was named vice president of daytime programming for the West Coast, bringing "The Regis Philbin Show" to the network level.

He left the network in the early '80s and became a writer and producer of reality shows, including "Fantasy," "The World's Wildest Police Videos" and "The World's Scariest Police Chases."

He then began making infomercials. His success with the long-form advertising programs led to his being named president of Home Shopping Network Entertainment in 1990.

Two years later he left the company to focus on his marketing and public relations firm.

He formed the Greenburg Family Foundation to support his charity work, mainly with HIV/AIDS causes, including Project New Hope in Los Angeles and Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs.

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