George Glazer, a longtime Hill+Knowlton Strategies executive who was once toasted by Walter Cronkite as “The most trusted PR man in America,” is remembered by family, friends, colleagues and journalists.
George Glazer, a pioneering media relations executive and former Hill+Knowlton Strategies executive, passed away on Nov. 22 at his home in Palm Beach County, Florida. He was 86.
Mr. Glazer spent 27 years as SVP and managing director for international broadcast and satellite services with Hill+Knowlton Strategies in New York. His clients included CBS News, where he counseled Walter Cronkite and “60 Minutes” founder and executive producer Don Hewitt among other CBS personalities and executives. Mr. Glazer’s groundbreaking work resulted in Mr. Cronkite publicly toasting him as “the most trusted PR man in America.”
“George really was a true pioneer in broadcast and satellite services, which was an early foundation for the rich video and digital content so central to our industry today. I always envied the contacts, but more so the respect, he had earned within the world of media. He was one of PR’s media greats,” remembered Tom Hoog, global vice chairman at H+K.
Mr. Glazer is acknowledged by industry colleagues as a pioneer of contemporary media training and the use of satellite “media tours” and “video news releases,” working over the course of five decades with CEOs, heads of state, celebrities and broadcast news executives. He helped hone the media skills of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, hotel mogul Bill Marriott, JetBlue founder David Neeleman, entertainers Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, and executives of the New York Stock Exchange, among others. He conceived and launched the NYSE’s pilot project to provide news channels with live interviews, now common, with member traders from the trading floor.
During the 1973 Arab oil embargo Mr. Glazer was chosen by the “Seven Sisters” (the world’s seven leading oil companies) to manage their combined TV news media-relations campaigns, designed to explain the reasons for long gas lines, spiraling fuel prices and short supplies. Previously, U.S. petroleum CEOs were rarely, if ever, seen on TV or quoted in newspapers. In 1986, Mr. Glazer was retained to create and manage the international press center at the historic summit between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Mr. Glazer left H+K in 1998 to go into business with his son, Bryan, a CNN contributing correspondent and local television reporter; their clients included Muhammad Ali, Sir Richard Branson, AOL founder Steve Case, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, among others.
Mr. Glazer is survived by his wife, Mina; his son Bryan; his daughter Marjorie Edelstein; and his son-in-law, Steven Edelstein.