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James Robert ("Bob") Cole, 86, passed away on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at the Friendship House in Solvang, CA after a brief illness. The long time Greenwich resident was born April 2, 1927 in Meridian, Mississippi and served in the U.S. Navy 1945-47. He attended Glendale College and The University of Southern California, graduating with a BS in Finance/Business Administration in 1952. He began a long career with CBS as a tour guide then moved into production at CBS Television City before transferring to Advertising/Sales at KNXT/CBS-TV in 1954. He was transferred to CBS-TV in New York in 1962 as an Account Executive with National Sales. In 1969 Cole was promoted to Vice President of the newly-created FM Group, overseeing the seven CBS-owned radio stations. Among his many accomplishments developing the commercial success of FM radio was encouraging market specific formats, including one of the first "Oldies" formats at WCBS-FM in New York and "The Mellow Sound", best remembered at KNX-FM in Los Angeles. After leaving CBS in 1982, Cole worked at KESQ-TV Palm Springs, California before relocating to Los Olivos, California in the early 1990s. Outside activities included Chairman of the 1964 U.S. Olympic trials in Volleyball as well as fundraising for the U.S. Olympic Committee. An avid Jazz pianist for over 60 years, he performed with both big bands and shared his talent with friends lucky enough to be with him near a piano. His love of music continued by playing at local venues in the Santa Ynez Valley into his 80's. Cole is survived by his sons, David Cole (Caroline Murphy) of Hingham, Mass., and James Robert Cole II of Burbank, Calif.; granddaughters Catherine and Audrey of Hingham, Mass. He is also survived by the mother of his children, Nancy Osborne Cole of Chatham, Mass. Bob was predeceased by his daughter Amee Barrick Cole. A memorial service was held in Santa Ynez, CA.
Published in GreenwichTime on May 9, 2013