Legendary News Producer Jack Reilly Passes Away

By Chris Ariens Comment

Jack Reilly, the former Good Morning America executive producer and later vice president of news at CNBC, passed away this morning at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York at the age of 84.

Reilly was VP and managing editor of CNBC from 1994 to 1998. Before that, he was the executive producer of ABC’s Good Morning America from 1986 to 1994. Reilly transformed GMA, a faltering #2 show, into the nation’s top-rated morning show – a position the show held for more than five years. In a note to staff, ABC News president David Westin called Reilly, “a great producer and a true newsman who will live on in our memories and in the deep structure of Good Morning America.”

ABC’s Charlie Gibson called Reilly, “one of the finest people I ever had the good fortune to work with and for. Modest, shy, self-effacing, not an ounce of inflated ego, and yet a cracker jack producer who understood when he should intrude, and when to stand back and let others do their work.”

Before ABC, Reilly was one of the founding producers at Entertainment Tonight. From 1969 to 1978 was the EP of Group W’s “The Mike Douglas Show” and later, the “David Frost Show.” He was president of Group W Television from 1972 to 1975.

Reilly’s daughters Linda and Stephanie took their father to St. Vincent’s just yesterday afternoon. The cause of death was related to a fall he took a few weeks ago, which lead to internal bleeding.

Adds Gibson, “I think all of us loved the guy almost in spite of his reluctance to be loved.” We’re told CNBC anchors Sue Herera and Bill Griffeth will mention Reilly’s passing during the 1pmET hour of Power Lunch.

Services are planned for next week at St. Malachy’s Church in Manhattan.