Dan Burke helped to shape the broadcasting industry while always keeping in mind the importance of media in shaping the world. He, and business partner Tom Murphy, built Capital Cities Communications from one television station in Albany, NY to a media company with print, television, and radio holdings, and then made history in 1986 when Capital Cities bought ABC for $3.5 billion in what was then the largest non-oil company merger in corporate history.
As President & CEO of Capital Cities/ABC, Dan Burke relied on the same principles that he did as a committed family man – directness, integrity, and involvement in the community. In an effort to make media a place of equal opportunity and representation for all, he joined with Emma Bowen and Dr. Everett Parker to develop the concept of a multi-year internship program to give young students of color the opportunity to be a part of the media industry, and contributed the seed money that made the Emma Bowen Foundation into a reality.
Dan Burke remained a supporter of the Emma Bowen Foundation through his retirement from Capital Cities/ABC in 1994 and beyond. His legacy of leadership in the industry and commitment to diversity in media is carried on by his son, Steve Burke, President & CEO of NBC Universal/Executive Vice President of Comcast, whose company is a leading partner of the Emma Bowen Foundation.
“There must be more time for us to address ourselves to the problems of this society and to apply television and radio to the greater good of our country.”