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Cable TV Pioneer George 'Mike' Welch Dies

TelePrompTer, HBO, Disney exec lived in San Diego area 2/14/2017 6:55 PM Eastern
Mike Welch (photo courtesy Dan Sweeney)

George Michael “Mike” Welch III, a member of the Cable TV Pioneers class of 1996 who spent parts of five decades in the business, holding senior level management positions for TelePrompTer, HBO and Disney Channel, died on Jan. 25 in Pacific Beach, Calif. He was 70 years old.

Born June 1, 1946, in Denver, Colo., and living in Pacific Beach for the last 28 years, he coordinated the San Diego cable veterans' chapter, "resulting in many high level meetings (HLM) where most of the cable and world problems were solved," his friend Dan Sweeney recalled in a Facebook tribute. "He was a good, intelligent and righteous man. RIP Mike, you will be missed."

He graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in business marketing. Starting in 1969, his first job was with Wells Fargo bank in San Francisco and shortly thereafter he became involved in the cable television business. He also started a successful headhunting firm, Pro Search, for the cable industry, eventually settling in San Diego.

According to an obituary prepared by his family, "he developed a passion for jiu-jitsu, learned Portuguese and helped many Brazilians who came to the U.S. to study and compete in the martial arts.
Mike loved to travel, was a history buff and was a fountain of knowledge about cars, art, music and popular culture. He was a dog lover, helping many rescue dogs, and had a strong bond with one in particular, his dog Beau." 

His survivors include his father, George Michael Welch II, from Coronado, Calif.; a sister, Deborah Welch, and her husband Phil Stroup from Boulder, Colo. 

A celebration of his life has been scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at his home in Pacific Beach, Calif.

Correction: the original headline of this story said he died at age 60; he was 70.

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