Edward Bleier’s long career has encompassed many innovations in television and electronic media. He held important roles in “new media” for Warner Bros., Warner Communications, and Time Warner; and has served as a board member of RealNetworks, foremost in Internet media streaming; CKX Inc., content aggregator of American Idol, among other programs; and a challenge candidate for Blockbuster Inc. He was president of Warner Bros. Domestic Pay-TV, Cable & Network Features, and in charge of the company’s network programming and sales. He served as a senior advisor from 2002 through 2005.
As president of Warner Bros. Animation, Bleier oversaw more than 100 variations of Looney Tunes programming on 10 cable and broadcast networks, and commissioned five movies and 15 TV specials featuring the classic characters. His knowledge of director Steven Spielberg’s affection for the Looney Tunes characters led to Warner Animation’s collaboration with Spielberg on three series: Tiny Toons, Pinky and the Brain, and Animaniacs.
An alumnus of Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (class of ’51, but officially graduated in 1994), he endowed the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. The center adds academic scope and study to the aesthetics, social impact, and popularity of TV and both new and traditional media.
Bleier has held such posts as chairman of the Center for Communication, president of the International Radio & Television Society, vice chairman of the International Television Council, chairman of the Academy of the Arts of East Hampton’s Guild Hall, board member of the Keystone Center for Science and Environment and the Martha Graham Dance Company, and participated in two United Nations World TV Forums.
The recipient of the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award, Bleier co-chaired the Entertainment/Media & Communications division of the UJA Federation for seven years; and now serves on The Media Council of The Paley Center for Media, as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and as a trustee of the Charles A. Dana Foundation.
In 2003, Bleier wrote The Thanksgiving Ceremony: New Traditions for America’s Family Feast, a New York Times bestseller. The book reflected his first-generation celebration of America’s most universal, non-denominational holiday, including an original ceremony for the Thanksgiving feast.