Thanks for the Memories, Vin

He was the greatest voice of the greatest game.

Vin Scully, the legendary Dodgers broadcaster who entertained millions of baseball fans for generations by turning each game into a story unto itself, died Aug. 2, 2022, at the age of 94.

Even among the Dodgers’ storied franchise history that includes celebrated personalities such as Tommy Lasorda and Jackie Robinson, Vin Scully stood out as one of the team’s iconic representatives.

After a two-year stint in the U.S. Navy, Scully, a native of The Bronx, became a student at New York’s Fordham University and did radio broadcasts for many of the school’s sports teams. He caught the ear of CBS Radio’s Red Barber, who recruited Scully for the network’s college football coverage. In his first assignment in November 1949, he braved freezing weather on the roof of Fenway Park in Boston after leaving his coat behind due to a misunderstanding about the location of the broadcast facilities.

Barber, who instilled in Scully a sense of objectivity and professionalism, then brought the young redhead over to the Brooklyn Dodgers, starting in 1950. When Barber left after the 1953 season, Scully became the team’s primary voice. He was there for the latter half of Jackie Robinson’s career, including the Dodger franchise’s first World Series win, and only one in Brooklyn, in 1955.

His arrival in Los Angeles when the team moved here in 1958 proved a perfect match for a growing city built on freeways and car culture. Fans could acquaint themselves with their new team on the go by listening to Dodger games on their car radios, and many became so accustomed to Vin’s voice they began bringing transistor radios to games at the L.A. Coliseum (where the team played before Dodger Stadium opened in 1962). Some games there were so many radios in the stands tuned to Vin in unison that the players reportedly could hear the broadcast on the field as they were playing.

Scully unsurprisingly was on hand for many of baseball’s most iconic moments during his career, from the perfect games of Don Larson and Sandy Koufax, to Hank Aaron passing Babe Ruth’s career home run total, to more somber moments such as welcoming back fans in 2001 after 9/11. He was there for the Dodgers’ L.A. title legacy in 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988. He was there for Fernandomania. He even shared play-by-play duties with President Ronald Reagan during an inning of the 1989 All-Star game in Anaheim, Calif. Undoubtedly his two most memorable calls happened during World Series: the Mets comeback against the Red Sox in game six of 1986, and Kirk Gibson’s walk-off homer in game one to lead the Dodgers past the A’s in 1988.

For me and so many others growing up in the Greater Los Angeles area, Scully’s voice was synonymous with the sound of a baseball game. He always seemed just as knowledgeable about the visiting team’s players as the home team, and had such a knack for telling stories about players or the history of the game in between pitches that he always seemed to finish just before the inning did and the broadcast cut to commercial.

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While he was the primary voice of the Dodgers and his Gibson call remains an indelible moment of the team’s history, many forget that he was actually in the booth for that game as part of NBC’s broadcasting team alongside Joe Garagiola, just as he was in 1986. In the 1980s, World Series broadcasts alternated between ABC in the odd years and NBC in the even ones, so Scully’s presence for those two moments was something of a happenstance. He worked for NBC from 1983 through 1989.

Outside of baseball, Scully called tennis, PGA Tour golf and NFL football games for CBS from 1975 to 1982. His most famous call during this stretch was probably “The Catch,” Dwight Clark’s touchdown that put the 49ers into Super Bowl XVI.

Beyond sports, Scully hosted a number of TV shows, including the game show “It Takes Two” from 1969 to 1970 on NBC; most of the episodes are believed lost due to the common but shortsighted practice at the time of reusing broadcast tapes, though some episodes can be found on YouTube.

Scully also plays himself in the 1999 Kevin Costner baseball movie For the Love of the Game as one of the broadcasters, his most notable among several film cameos.

As a sign of his influence on Hollywood, the character of Dana Scully on “The X-Files” is named after him.

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However, he will be first and foremost remembered for his association with baseball. He was given the Ford C. Frick award, often referred to as being included in the baseball hall of fame broadcaster’s wing, in 1982. As television evolved and networks built broadcasting teams with separate play-by-play announcers and color analysts, Scully remained a throwback to an earlier era when working the booth solo was the norm. Even as the Dodgers moved past single-man booths in the early 2000s, Scully remained one of the last solo play-by-play announcers through the end of his career. More often than not, a portrayal (or spoof) of a generic baseball announcer was doing an impersonation of Scully.

Scully maintained a cherished place in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth for 67 years, finally retiring in 2016. His most iconic catchphrase, “It’s time for Dodger baseball,” lives on as part of the pregame ceremony before every Dodgers home game. Both the press box at Dodger Stadium and a street leading to the park were re-named in his honor.

While Scully would pop up for official team appearances from time to time after his retirement, his final role as the voice of the Dodgers was to help celebrate the team’s 2020 World Series win by narrating Major League Baseball’s official championship documentary.

“I know I’ve been so very fortunate to see the celebration of every one of their championships,” Scully says in closing out the official 2020 World Series Film. “Every legend of every generation, enjoying their greatest moment on the game’s grandest stage.”

That’s the beauty of baseball — a continuity of stats, records and achievements that dates back for more than a century. And for nearly half the history of the sport, spanning the careers of thousands of players that came and went, Vin Scully was a common thread connecting them all. As baseball’s traditions struggled to meet the demands of modern entertainment, he was a calming reassurance that the game would be fine, a living embodiment of the principle that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And still, the game will never be the same without him.

Movie Producer, Talent Agent Chris Nassif Passes Away at 62

Longtime Los Angeles talent agent and movie producer Christopher Nassif died on July 6. Cause of death is unknown at this time, according to a statement from his family. He was 62.

In 2018, Nassif formed Insurrection Entertainment in association with home entertainment distributor Cinedigm. Recent movies included Jeepers Creepers 3, Who Stole My Daughter, American Federale and Monster Mutt. The company was in pre-production on a new film in the “Piranha” franchise.

Nassif opened CNA and Associates Talent Agency in 1983, shortly after graduating from USC. He is known to be the youngest man ever to establish a top talent agency at age 22. At CNA he started the acting careers of Luke Perry, Ricky Martin and Jay Hernandez. The agency also represented Michael Rapaport, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon and Robert Forster.

In 2000, he expanded and merged CNA with Premiere Artists Talent Agency to form Diverse Talent Group. DTG, under the guidance of Chris, started the careers of Chrissy Metz, James Van Der Beek, Michael Wetherly and Austin Butler. He also represented Kunal Nayar, Josh Holloway and Martin Landau to name a few.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Robin Nassif, sons Chris Nassif Jr. and Ryan Nassif, his sister Alexis Nassif and brother Dr. Paul Nassif.

Home Video Veteran Len Levy Dies at 97

Len Levy, a veteran of the home video industry since the early days of VHS, died March 14, 2022 of a heart attack. He was 97. Levy is survived by a cousin, Dave Fogel of Chicago.

Levy  was born on Jan. 10, 1925, to Jean and Sol Levy in Rochester, New York. His maternal grandfather, Samuel Hoffman, owned a record store, where he learned about music, composers, and performers. Levy graduated from Ohio State University, though his education was interrupted by 18
months’ service in the South Pacific.

After college, while working in his grandfather’s store, Levy began booking talent for a nearby supper club. That led to his meeting various New York City agents and managers. He soon joined the local distributorship of Coral Records, a subsidiary of Decca Records, as sales manager. In January 1955 he became office manager with Coral in New York. He then became national sales manager for Top Rank Records.

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In 1961, Levy joined Epic Records, a subsidiary of Columbia Records, as sales
manager. He signed singer Bobby Vinton, whose first Epic single was the multimillion seller “Roses Are Red.” Through his connections in Britain at EMI, Levy signed Lulu, Cliff Richards, Donovan, The Yardbirds, and
the Dave Clark Five to Epic. He opened an office for Epic in Nashville and discovered and guided the careers of Tammy Wynette and Charlie Rich, among others, and was voted into Who’s Who in County Music. He ultimately rose to SVP and GM at Epic.

Levy later served as president of Chess Records of Chicago before being approached in 1976 by The Wherehouse to head up the national record store chain’s new Video Division. In the early 1980s, Levy became marketing manager of Family Home Entertainment, where he acquired home
video rights to the Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Inspector Gadget, and other familiar family brands, building FHE into the second-biggest children’s video company, behind the Walt Disney Co.

Levy created several well-regarded labels under the FHE leadership, including International Video Entertainment (IVE) and Thriller Video. The latter featured Elvira hosting films from the Hammer House of Horror. IVE’s releases included On Golden Pond, Hoosiers, 1984, Bolero, Angel Heart, First Blood and Supergirl.

In 1987, Levy headed a new division of Fries Entertainment: Fries Home Video. He acquired new episodes of the “Care Bears,” “Shari Lewis & Lambchop,” and an eclectic collection of programming including Follies In Concert, the indie film hit Wish You Were Here, Troop Beverly Hills and Flowers in the Attic.

In 1998, Levy formed Pro-Active Entertainment Group in Rancho Mirage, Calif., providing sales and marketing advice to independent producers. The firm closed in 2007.

He married Florence (“Flo”) on May 24, 1960. Flo died of lung cancer on Feb. 17, 2016, in Rancho Mirage.

Len and Flo Levy (photo courtesy BJ Markel).

Former Columbia TriStar Home Video President Pat Campbell Dies

Former Columbia TriStar Home Video president Walter Patrick “Pat” Campbell has died.

Campbell, of East Hampton, N.Y., passed away on March 28, according to an announcement in the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was 76.

Pat Campbell (Prayer card photo)

Campbell was president of what is now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment from 1989 until 1994. He began his tenure there in 1984 when he was asked to head the recently formed entertainment joint venture between RCA and Columbia Pictures, RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video, to distribute tapes overseas. He was named worldwide president in 1989 and remained at the helm after the company’s 1991 rebranding to Columbia TriStar Home Video. Top VHS releases during Campbell’s presidency included Total Recall, Flatliners, Misery, Boyz n the Hood, Ghostbusters II and Sex, Lies and Videotape.

In an interview with the LaSalle University Winter Magazine in 1997, 30 years after he graduated from the school with an undergraduate degree in political science, Campbell said RCA/Columbia was a unique business because it acquired as well as produced movies. “We took the video company worldwide,” Campbell said. “We were the only ones that had more revenue overseas than we did domestic because we recognized that there was a tremendous overseas market. We were number one in market share even though the flow of products from our studio was number seven. I was very proud of that. And we also developed some people who are now very significant in the entertainment business.”

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Campbell said his most difficult challenge was “dealing with the talent.” “At one point we were producing about 20 films a year and buying hundreds of others around the world,” he told the LaSalle Winter Magazine. “Generally when you’re dealing with first-time talent it’s fairly easy. But boy, when they have a success or two, that took all of your wits and patience.” 

In the interview, Campbell said that while his division enjoyed a string of successful VHS releases, there also was one big miss. A staffer woke him early one morning at the Cannes Film Festival to watch a rough cut of an independent film partially subtitled in American Indian. “By about 9:30, I hadn’t had breakfast and I was hungry,” Campbell told the publication. “I said, ‘There’s no way I want to touch this film.’ And we walked away from it.”

That film was Dances with Wolves.

“He was respected by his team and innovative in the area of making independent films for the home video marketplace,” said Ben Feingold, CEO of Samuel Goldwyn Films, who succeeded Campbell as president of Columbia TriStar Home Video in 1994.

Campbell left Columbia TriStar in January 1994 to join Ameritech, one of seven Regional Bell Operating Companies, or “Baby Bells,” created following the breakup of AT&T in 1984. As EVP of corporate strategy and business development, he helped negotiate the $81 billion merger of Ameritech and SBC Communications, one of the largest corporate mergers in history at that time. The Winter 1997-98 edition of the LaSalle Winter Magazine called Campbell “one of the key players on the Information Superhighway.”

In an interview with Supermarket News, Campbell talked about tech companies recruiting home video executives. “The reality is the information superhighway is coming and is going to be an exciting, vibrant thing to work on, but it is a ways into the future,” he said. “Video is an incredibly important aspect of the entertainment business right now.”

Campbell was born on Feb. 9, 1946, in Philadelphia. A 1967 graduate of LaSalle University with an undergraduate degree in political science, he began his career at Proctor-Silex in Philadelphia and later held a series of progressively more responsible positions at McGraw Edison, and Norelco.

Campbell is survived by his wife, Kathleen Campbell; daughter Megan Officer and her husband, Graham; daughter Kristin Doble and her husband, Hunter; and grandchildren Campbell and Colin Officer and Katharine, Emily and Graham Doble.

Following his retirement, Campbell continued to serve on the board of directors of Jefferies Financial Group and Black and Veatch, according to the announcement.

There will be a Celebration of Life for him on April 3 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Flourtown Country Club in Flourtown, Penn.

Dr. Gerhard ‘Gerry’ Weber, Top European Warner Home Video Executive, Dies at 86

Dr. Gerhard “Gerry” Weber, who launched Warner Home Video in Germany in 1982 and later became one of the studio’s top home entertainment executives, died on Jan. 11, just three days after his 86th birthday. His cause of death was complications from Alzheimer’s.

Weber retired in 2002 as SVP and co-managing director of Europe, the Mideast and Africa, based in London. He shared this position with Ron Sanders, who later took charge of Warner Home Video on a worldwide basis and ultimately rose to president, Warner Bros. Worldwide Theatrical Distribution and president, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Weber is survived by his wife, Karin Müller-Weber; daughters Franziska and Anne-Tess; and son Lucas. A third daughter, Katrin, died in 2014.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, on Jan. 8, 1936, Weber began his career in 1956 at Siemens, the big German industrial company. He later was project manager at business consultancy Baumgartner before shifting over to the entertainment industry in 1968 with his appointment as controller and CFO of Liberty/United Artists Records in Munich. Within three years, he had been promoted to managing director.

In 1972 Weber moved over to Metronom Music GmbH in Hamburg, a subsidiary of Polygram, as deputy managing director and then managing director. After three years as deputy managing director at Phonogram, another Polygram subsidiary, Weber in January 1982 joined WEA Music Gmbh, also in Hamburg, as managing director, marketing and sales, music and video. By the end of the year, he was managing director of the newly launched Warner Home Video operation in Germany.

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Over the next 20 years, Weber held a series of progressively more responsible international positions at Warner Home Video. He served as chairman of the German trade association for the video industry, Bundesverband Audiovisuelle Medien e.V. (BVV), which represented the interests of German as well as international program suppliers. He also mentored Warner Bros. veteran Willi Geike, who spent 38 years in senior leadership roles and ultimately rose to president and managing director, Warner Bros. Germany, Austria, Switzerland (GAS) and Poland, a post he held until October 2020. 

“Under his leadership, Gerry developed an incredible management team that helped run Warner Home Video Germany, one of the five major markets,” said Warren Lieberfarb, the Warner Home Video president hailed as the father of DVD. “He went on to hold a number of leadership positions throughout Europe, and what set him apart was his management style, proven leadership and thorough knowledge of the market, the product and the industry.” 

After retiring, Weber served on the advisory board of a prominent Hamburg-based real estate fund.

Weber’s wife, Karin, recalls, “We loved to travel. We spent our holidays hiking or skiing in Switzerland, and many times visited London and Devon. Our last far-away trip was to Calgary to pick up Lucas in 2018 and doing a round trip through the Rocky Mountains. Gerry always took care of us. … He was a deeply caring husband and father.”

Home Video Veteran Bob Tollini Dies at 74

Bob Tollini, a veteran of the home video industry who held senior management positions at two big distributors and was one of the leaders in the charge to establish a common street date for new releases, died Feb. 4 of cancer.

He was 74. Tollini is survived by his wife, Patricia; son, Mike; and two granddaughters, Eva and Sophie.

Tollini, a native of Buffalo, New York, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

He began working in the video industry in the early 1980s, at CBS/Fox, where he rose to controller. In March 1984 he joined Video Trend as VP and GM of the Detroit branch. At the time, the video rental industry was flourishing as thousands of independent retailers bought movies on videocassette at prices starting at about $60 and rented them to the public. Studios sold their VHS cassettes through a network of distributors.

Tollini was subsequently promoted to VP of marketing and purchasing for all seven Video Trend branches.

In 1991, Chicago-based Video Trend was purchased by Major Video Concepts of Indianapolis and Tollini joined the acquiring company, where he ultimately rose to SVP. He helped launch the company’s Internet presence and at one point oversaw marketing for 1,500 video rental stores inside supermarkets.

Tollini was also active in the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) and a frequent speaker and panelist at the trade group’s annual convention in Las Vegas. In July 1998, he spoke out against revenue-sharing, in which studios let retailers buy more copies of the big hits at a reduced price in return for sharing a percentage of the revenues. He argued that Blockbuster had an advantage because of its direct sales relationship with the major studios, while independent retailers couldn’t enjoy the same discount because they could only purchase product through distributors.

“He loved movies, he loved the business, he was just a really great guy,” said Mark Fisher, president of streaming trade association OTT.X, who in the 1990s was EVP of the VSDA.

“He was a great guy — in business, personally, and professionally,” said Kirk Kirkpatrick, former president of the video division of WaxWorks, an Owensboro, Ky.-based distributor. “I got to know him best because I played tennis with him often at some of these conferences.  He beat the hell out of me every time.”

Kirkpatrick said Tollini also played a key role in establishing a uniform weekly release date for new home video releases, Tuesday, a practice that continues to this day. “I remember I called him and said, ‘This is crazy — we have all these different shipping days — why don’t we do what the record business does and have one standard release date,” Kirkpatrick said. “He backed that in an instant and made such a compelling case, because of his stature in the industry, that the studios agreed.”

Distribution was hit hard in the 1990s when independent stores were swallowed up, or put out of business, by rapidly growing national chains like Erol’s, National, West Coast and, later, Blockbuster, Hollywood Entertainment and Movie Gallery. The emergence of DVD in 1997 further impacted the videocassette rental business, as discs were priced low for direct sale to consumers.

Major Video Concepts was sold to Ingram Entertainment in 2000, and a year later Tollini left the company. He later worked as sales director for Video Access Computers, which manufactured DVD rental kiosks, before embarking on a career as a consultant. He also continued to produce a weekly buying guide aimed at the remaining independent retailers.

Tollini also was known for his charitable work. In the 1980s, he became a volunteer for Big Brothers, and over the years mentored dozens of young men. He also tutored children at a homeless shelter and drove a delivery truck for Second Helpings, an Indianapolis nonprofit that uses donated perishable and overstocked food to prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults.

“He was an altruistic person who was extremely generous with his time and really wanted to help people,” recalls son Mike. “He regarded himself as being raised by immigrant families who had nothing, and then at 17 he gets to go to two Ivy League schools in a row and gets to move into a management career. He was very troubled by inequality and the lack of opportunity, especially in the urban areas. He was really focused on helping kids, in particular from backgrounds of more challenging circumstances. He felt really fortunate to have had a lot of opportunity.”

Tollini also remained involved in film through Heartland Films, a nonprofit arts organization based in Indianapolis, with a mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. He volunteered as a judge, and oversaw the organization’s video distribution initiative, alongside Bob Prudhomme and Tim Swain.

Tollini and his wife remained in Indianapolis until 2018, when they moved to the Washington, D.C. area to be closer to his son and grandchildren. He had been diagnosed with cancer in late 2017.

Shari Redstone, Bob Bakish Credit Late Hasbro CEO for Viacom, CBS Merger, ‘Transformers’ Movies Success

Following the death of Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, Shari Redstone, non-executive chair of the ViacomCBS board of directors, late Tuesday hailed Goldner for his efforts in helping her re-unite Viacom and CBS Corp. in 2019.

Goldner, who died Oct. 12 at the age of 58 following a seven-year battle with cancer, had served on the ViacomCBS board. He was instrumental in transforming toy properties “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” into movie franchises

Brian Goldner

Redstone said Goldner’s “guidance and leadership” not only contributed to the ViacomCBS merger, but also in the execution of a “vision that has significantly shaped the company and will take us well into the future.”

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“While I will always be grateful for the incredible contributions Brian made to this company, what we will all miss the most is his wisdom, his kindness, his commitment, and his friendship,” Redstone said in a statement. “He will always hold a special place in our hearts and he will be forever missed.”

Bob Bakish, CEO of ViacomCBS, said Goldner not only transformed Hasbro from its traditional roots in toys and games into a multi-platform content creator, as a member of the ViacomCBS board, he was an “essential voice” guiding the evolution movies, toys and consumer goods, in addition to championing “our commitment to sustainability.”

Across seven movies, the “Transformers” franchise has generated $5.8 billion at the global box office, in addition to hundreds of millions more in home entertainment and consumer products revenue.

“[Goldner’s] passion for delighting consumers also shone through in his long-time partnership with Paramount Pictures that helped build Transformers into an iconic film franchise,” Bakish said. “We extend our deepest sympathies to Brian’s family and to the entire Hasbro community during this difficult time.”

Hasbro Announces the Passing of CEO Brian Goldner

Hasbro announced that longtime chairman/CEO Brian Goldner passed away following a seven-year battle against cancer. He was 58. His death came just days after he took a leave of absence for medical reasons.

Goldner helped transform Hasbro from toymaker to media company, producing movies with Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks, in addition to acquiring Canadian media distributor eOne in 2019 for $4 billion.

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“Since joining the company more than two decades ago, Brian has been the heart and soul of Hasbro,” interim CEO Rich Stoddart said in a statement. “As a charismatic and passionate leader in both the play and entertainment industries, Brian’s work brought joy and laughter to children and families around the world. His visionary leadership, kindness, and generosity made him beloved by the Hasbro community and everyone he touched. On behalf of the Hasbro family, we extend our deepest, heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter, and entire family.”

Goldner joined Hasbro in 2000 and was quickly recognized as a visionary in the industry. He was appointed CEO in 2008 and became chairman in 2015. He was instrumental in transforming the company beyond toys and games into television, movies and digital gaming.

The culmination of his pioneering strategy was the acquisition of independent entertainment studio eOne. Goldner served on the board of ViacomCBS and was the chair of the compensation committee.

“Brian’s passing is a tremendous loss for Hasbro and the world,” said Edward Philip, lead independent director of the board. “Brian was universally admired and respected in the industry, and throughout his over twenty years at Hasbro, his inspiring leadership and exuberance left an indelible mark on everything and everyone he touched. A mentor and friend to so many, his passion and creativity took Hasbro to new heights.

Goldner is survived by his wife Barbara and their daughter.

Salzer’s Video Calls It Quits After 41 Years of Renting Videos in Southern California

Salzer’s Video, one of the last big video rental stores, announced via a Facebook page that it is closing down.

The store, located in Oxnard, Calif., is next door to Salzer’s Records, a mainstay of the local music community since 1966.

Owner Jim Salzer, who died last year, opened Salzer’s Video adjacent to the record store in 1980 to take advantage of the burgeoning video rental market. He later became a prominent voice in the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA), the trade group for video retailers that produced an annual summer convention in Las Vegas that attracted thousands of independent video retailers — and huge show-floor expenditures by the studios to woo them.

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Salzer’s Video proved a worthy competitor to the superstores built by national chains such as Blockbuster and Hollywood Entertainment in the late 1980s and early ’90s, and still carries more than 20,000 titles.

In a Facebook post that went up at 3:19 p.m. PT on Sept. 30, the owners said, “It has been a pleasure serving Ventura County for the last 41 years, but it is time to call it a wrap. As one of the first video stores in the county, we began in a former gas station in 1980 and within five years moved into the superstore we’ve operated out of for the last 36 years. We’ll be having liquidation sales over the next few weekends, so stay tuned for details. We also have some exciting plans for the space to be announced in the near future. Thank you to all of our wonderful customers and employees over the years that have help make us one of the longest-running video rental stores in the country. Please note: our record store is stronger than ever and is NOT part of this closure. – The Salzers.”

In a subsequent post that went up less than an hour later, the Salzers provided more details on the store’s liquidation sales: “We are liquidating our inventory and will be having closeout sales for the next few weekends. This Friday through Sunday (10/1 – 10/3) all DVDs and Blu-rays — $5 each (this includes multiple-disc sets). The following Friday through Sunday (10/8 – 10/10) all DVDs and Blu-rays — TWO for $5. UPDATE: fixtures and other items will be sold at a later date to be determined. We may go a third weekend with even deeper discounts should inventory remain – stay tuned for details.”

Jim Salzer died early on March 15, 2020, after suffering a second fall. He had been hospitalized after an initial fall in late February. Shortly after noon on Sunday, March 15, he posted to Facebook, “I can’t keep up with Facebook currently. I’m having a bad time with recovery. See you on the flip side.”

His daughter, Sage, wrote on his Facebook page that in the late afternoon, “my dad and I FaceTimed and a few more hours passed and he is gone. Grateful for the countless hours we spent around the clock with him in the hospital after he took the first fall, breaking neck and back.”

Before venturing into retail more than 50 years ago, Salzer was a concert promoter, producing shows in Ventura, Santa Barbara and elsewhere in Southern California by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Jefferson Airplane and Buffalo Springfield.

A native of Chicago, Salzer was 78. He was survived by his wife, Nancy, and children Sage and Brandon.

Ed Asner Dies at 91; Legacy Lives On at Home

Ed Asner, who died Aug. 29 at the age of 91, has more than 400 screen credits, including long stints as grumpy newsroom boss Lou Grant on first “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-77) and then its spinoff, “Lou Grant” (1977–82).

He won seven Emmy Awards and remained active long after those two series ended, most recently appearing as a guest star in a 2020 episode of “Modern Family.” A year earlier, he appeared in the Netflix dark comedy Dead to Me, alongside Christina Applegate, and in 2018 he guested on the Netflix series “Cobra Kai.”

Aside from Lou Grant, Asner is best remembered for Emmy-winning roles in the 1970s miniseries “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Roots,” playing Santa Claus in 2003’s Elf, and providing the voice of retired balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen in the animated Pixar comedy Up (2009).

Asner also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981 to 1985.

Asner’s death was announced in a post on his official Twitter account, which read: “We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head — Goodnight dad. We love you.”

Asner was born in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 15, 1929, to Orthodox Jewish immigrants – his father, from Lithuania, and his mother, from Russia. His first brush with show business came on a weekly high school radio program. He broke into theater while studying at the University of Chicago.

After a stint in U.S. Army Signal Corps, Asner helped found the Playwrights Theatre Company in Chicago, which later became the Compass Players — a predecessor to Second City. He later performed on Broadway before heading to California, where he appeared mostly in television and made his film debut in 1962 in the Elvis Presley musical Kid Galahad.

Kid Galahad was released on DVD by MGM in 2005 and is now out of print.

The complete “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” TV series was most recently released by 20th Century Fox on DVD in October 2018, shortly before the studio was swallowed up by Disney. Individual season sets had been rolled out previously.

“Lou Grant” season sets are available through Shout! Factory.