Frederick Schneier dead: Viacom and Showtime Executive was 95

Frederick Schneier, an entertainment industry veteran of more than 45 years, died September 15 at his Los Angeles home. He was 95.

Schneier was primarily an executive at Viacom, where he helped develop Showtime Networks in the 1980s and later became President and CEO of Viacom Pictures.

Schneier was born on May 31, 1927 in Brooklyn, NY. He served in the US Army and eventually attended New York University to major in business administration with a concentration in marketing. He met his 67-year-old wife, Joyce, shortly after graduating from NYU, and the couple married in 1955.

His film and television career began in 1958 when he and his mentor Robert C. Manby founded Showcorporation of America, an international distributor of film and television productions. Schneier then joined the US subsidiary of London-basedhemdale Leisure Corporation in 1973 as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, where he helped produce film and television projects such as the Rumble in the Jungle fight of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire .

In 1979, Schneier joined Viacom International as Senior Vice President, Film Acquisitions at Viacom Enterprises, which became a position lasting more than 14 years. Schneier relocated to Los Angeles four years later to help start Showtime Networks, Inc., where he served as vice president of acquisitions before rising to executive vice president of programming. Schneier’s work also helped bring championship boxing and other high-profile events into Showtime’s regular schedule.

Later in 1989, Viacom International launched Viacom Pictures with Schneier at the helm as President and CEO. Among the titles he helped produce were Paris Trout, Taking the Heat and The Wrong Man.

In 1993, Schneier’s own banner, FSA Film Enterprises, was formed to serve as a film production company and liaison, providing production and marketing services to both the domestic and international film markets. FSA Film Enterprises has developed original films such as Convict Cowboy, starring Jon Voight and Kyle Chandler, and Run for the Dream, starring Lou Gossett Jr. and Charlayne Woodard. Schneier produced these tracks with his daughter Diane for Showtime.

Throughout his career, Schneier has volunteered with non-profit organizations such as The United Way and has served on the board, chairman and CEO of the American Film Marketing Association.

He is survived by his wife Joyce, daughter Diane, son-in-law Bryce, grandson Alec, along with many nieces, great-nieces, great-nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his daughter Robin. Frederick Schneier dead: Viacom and Showtime Executive was 95

Charles Jones

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