Charles F. "Chuck" Klein, the TV marketer and event producer who was well known for his cable-network promotional stunts and cable convention related parties, died on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at his home in Keego Harbor, Mich., at age 71, according to his niece Lizzy Klein. He is survived by his wife, Shelley Babcock Klein.
Klein's company, Chuck Klein Productions, was known for events including the after party on New York City's restaurant row that followed the annual Walter Kaitz Foundation fundraising dinner. (He died the same day as the most recent Kaitz dinner, last week.) He also was associated with memorable promotional activities and parties for the likes of HBO (for whom he arranged very popular chocolate chip cookies that became a signature treat) and Showtime and for faux space alien invasions on behalf of Sci-Fi Channel in the mid 1990s. He brought climbing walls to cable conventions on behalf of the former Outdoor Life Channel and executed multiple-venue parties at CTAM Summits. For years he produced original restaurant guides for people headed to cable convention cities. He was an active supporter of Cable Positive, a cable organization that supported HIV AIDS support messaging, and in 1993 was elected into the Cable TV Pioneers.
Press clippings from his company's site indicate his start in cable, after he served in the U.S. Navy, in Vietnam, came at Warner Cable in the early 1970s before he signed on with HBO. He is pictured here in an undated photo from Facebook with his wife, Shelley Babcock Klein, and a lion cub, possibly from a Western Show cable convention.