Gerald Baldwin, Former Y&R Exec, Dies at 78

NEW YORK Gerald Baldwin, a 23-year veteran of Young & Rubicam and a leading expert on broadcast media, died May 10 of complications from prostate cancer. He was 78.

Baldwin joined Y&R as an assistant research director in 1959 and retired from the agency in 1982 as vice president, director of broadcast media.

During his career, he embraced innovation and new technologies and championed the development of cable TV, DRTV, barter syndication, unwired radio and TV networks and infomercials. Known as a skilled negotiator and as an innovative and aggressive advocate for his clients, Baldwin wielded one of the largest domestic broadcast advertising budgets in the business for more than a dozen years.

In his post-Y&R career, Baldwin, a mathematics and statistics graduate of New York University, worked with consumer brands like Breck and Ovaltine as a senior executive with Jeffrey Martin. As the senior media executive at Synchronal, a job he retired from in 1994, he established pricing, buying and planning protocols for infomercials.

Earlier, he served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and he began his career in media and research at the Medimetric Institute in 1952. Baldwin also worked at various TV networks in the 1950s.

He leaves his wife of 51 years, the former Ann Kunkes, three grown sons — Michael, Gordon and Joseph — and four grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society in Jerry Baldwin’s memory.