Indianapolis — Long-time RCA and Thomson Consumer Electronics public relations executive Frank McCann died on Sunday of complications from cancer. He was 71.
McCann began his business career as a reporter at Fairchild Publications in New York City, covering the furniture industry. He joined the RCA Corp. in 1960 and transferred to Indianapolis when the consumer electronics division opened their new headquarters there.
At RCA, McCann held positions in product planning and advertising before becoming manager and then public affairs VP. When RCA was sold to GE, and the consumer electronics division sold by GE to the French company Thomson, Frank continued to oversee the public and press relations programs for a company that had become an international conglomerate.
In 1989, during the battle for high-definition television (HDTV), McCann led the extensive public relations activities of a consortium that included Thomson, Zenith, Philips, and NBC, among others.
Later, when the major HDTV proponents merged their systems in the formation of the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance in 1993, McCann helped guide the public relations effort. In 1997, a year after the FCC adoption of the Grand Alliance HDTV system, a Technical Emmy was awarded to him and the consortium for the Grand Alliance System and the HDTV standard.
In 1999, Frank retired from Thomson and formed his own public relations firm, Frank McCann & Associates, continuing to do consulting work for Thomson as well as his other clients, International Recording Media Association (IRMA) and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Frank is survived by his wife Anna and their four children and six grandchildren.