Dr. Barry Litman Born March 14, 1949, Dr. Barry Litman passed away December 26th at the age of 59 following a brave battle with cancer. Dr. Litman was a professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University for more than 30 years, specializing in the economics of broadcasting, mass media, and the entertainment industries. He was a graduate of Wayne State University where he was a member of the varsity tennis team. He earned his doctorate of philosophy degree in 1976 from Michigan State University under the direction of former MSU President and Economics Professor Walter Adams. In addition to serving as professor, Dr. Litman was Chair of the department for six years, was a board member and honorary member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, and authored several books including, "The Vertical Structure of the Television Broadcast Industry: The Coalescence of Power", and more recently, "The Motion Picture Mega Industry." He also authored and co-authored more than 50 articles in academic journals and papers in broadcasting economics. Dr. Litman was one of the earliest of economists to specialize in media and telecommunications industries. He made a major theoretical contribution to the field in his advancement of the Rosse "umbrella model" of newspaper competition. He was active in the Broadcast Education Association, serving on the economics and research committees. Many of his former Ph.D. students are in teaching, research, and executive positions in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Dr. Litman is survived by his wife, Leslie (Zucker) Litman; daughter, Pearl, and triplet sons, Daniel, Brandon and Jonathan; brother, Joel, and wife, Barbara Litman; mother-in-law, Josephine Zucker; sister-in-law, Kimberly Zucker; brother-in-law, Craig, and wife, Michele Zucker; nephews, Ryan and Bradley Zucker; and also survived by several aunts, uncles, cousins, and a world of devoted students. He is preceded in death by his parents Roseyln and Herman Litman. Funeral services were held Monday, December 29 in Southfield, Michigan with the interment following at Machpelah Cemetery in Ferndale, Michigan. Those desiring may make contributions in Dr. Litman's memory to the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University, 300 Spartan Way, East Lansing, MI 48824, or to a charity of choice.
Published in Lansing State Journal on Dec. 30, 2008.