NEW YORK Eric Schmuckler, a former senior editor at Mediaweek magazine covering the TV networks (and later one of the publication's top contributing writers), passed away at his Tarrytown, N.Y., home on Dec. 27, following a long battle with cancer. He was 47.
Known throughout the television and media agency business as a tough reporter with rapier-sharp wit and writing talents to match, Schmuckler loved to write about all facets of the TV industry, from analyzing the prime-time schedules to the picayune details of upfront negotiations between the sales executives and top buyers.
He also possessed a unique talent for identifying future hits in the TV business (Mediaweek, thanks to Schmuckler, was the first press outlet to foresee the future success of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers in the early 1990s).
"He was the most lovable kvetch I've ever known," remembers Bill Gloede, the former editor of Mediaweek. "And a first-rate reporter and writer as well. But what he was best at was kids' TV. He redefined the beat, for everyone who ever wrote or read about it. When some social scientist is studying the echo-boom generation and what made it tick 200 years from now, long after Seinfeld, Cheers, Roseanne, O.J. and all the rest of us have been consigned to irrelevance, there will be Eric, reporting as he always did, only then in some medium we've not yet imagined, but still for Mediaweek. In no small way, Eric was Mediaweek, and it him."
Schmuckler worked at Mediaweek from 1991 into 1995, and went freelance after that, writing not only for Mediaweek regularly, but contributing also to several newspapers and magazines about some of his other passions: theater, baseball and music. Before joining Mediaweek, Schmuckler worked at Forbes. He graduated from Cornell University.
An obsessive and passionate fan of music in nearly all its forms, Schmuckler owned a vinyl record collection that stretched into the tens of thousands. He also was beloved among friends and colleagues for making some of the best obscure music mixes in existence.
He is survived by his wife and two sons.
Services will be held this Friday, Dec. 29, at Temple Beth Abraham, 25 Leroy Ave., in Tarrytown, N.Y., at noon.
Sibling publications Adweek and Mediaweek are owned by VNU.