Robert Hughes, the former CEO of Prime Cable and a pioneer in the cable television industry, died Feb. 28. He was 81 years old.
Hughes got his start in the cable industry in 1968 while he worked for venture capital firm Texas Capital. It was while there that he decided to join Jack Crosby and Fred Lieberman in their new cable venture, Communications Properties. By 1974 Hughes was president of the firm, helping to build it into the seventh largest cable operator in the country before it was sold to Times Mirror in 1979.
Hughes started Prime Cable shortly after and by 1995 it was the eighth largest cable operator in the U.S. with more than 1 million subscribers in six states. The company began dismantling itself in 1997 and by 2000 had sold its last system.
Hughes remained active in the business community and served on the boards of directors of several companies including Tichenor Inc./Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation(Univision), Hawaiian Wireless Inc., and Aloha Partners. While in the cable business Bob was an active member in the National Cable Television Association, serving as Chairman in 1978 and 1979. In 2009, he was inducted into The Cable Center's Cable Television Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Gail Anderson Hughes; sons Kyle and Craig (wife Molly); five grandchildren Kelsey Hughes (husband Grant Wilson), Preston Hughes, Will Hughes, Jackson Hughes and Sam Hughes; mother-in-law Wanda Anderson; daughters-in-law Roe Sharon Hughes and Carrie Frugé Walker; nieces Lori Markes (husband Chris), Allison Eve, and Rita Scranton; great nieces Grace Markes, Laurel Eve, and Andra Eve; great nephew Christian Markes (wife Grace); cousin Patricia Hughes; and many other nieces, nephews, and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents Bill and Virginia Hughes, brother Larry Hughes, stepson Lee Walker, father-in-law A.R. Anderson, and brother-in-law Doyce Anderson.
A memorial service was held March 6 at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas, followed by a reception at Westwood Country Club.
The family requests memorial donations be made to The Darrell K. Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer's Disease, P.O. Box 5839, Austin, TX 78763, The Alzheimer's Association Capital of Texas Chapter, 3429 Executive Center Drive, Suite 100, Austin, Texas 78731, or a charity of your choice.