Chet Collier, a television pioneer who worked his way up from production assistant to cable news executive, died today. FNC’s Shepard Smith announced Collier’s death this afternoon on Studio B. Collier was an executive at CNBC and America’s Talking (the predecessor of MSNBC) where he worked with Roger Ailes. Collier moved with Ailes to News Corp. to create FNC, where Collier was the channel’s executive vice president.
In reading an email from Ailes, Shepard Smith said “Chet Collier never took any credit for himself, but we couldn’t have accomplished everything we did without him.” Collier and Ailes had known each other for decades. Collier hired 22-year-old Ailes as a production assistant on The Mike Douglas Show in the mid-1960s. Chet Collier died after a long illness.
Read Roger Ailes’ memo to the staff after the jump…
It is with great sadness that I must announce that one of the great leaders of television, Chet Collier, passed away a short time ago in Florida . He had been battling illness for awhile and when I went to see him for two days over the 4th of July week, he was still watching the Fox News Channel every hour of the day. He was also still giving me good advice. He loved Fox News and was very proud of the accomplishments here. He never took any credit for himself, but we couldn’t have accomplished everything we did without him.
I do not know any more details at the moment, but I believe next month we’ll put together a memorial service here in New York . My condolences to his wife Dottie and his family. Godspeed Chet. We’ll miss you.