Catholic 02

Edward L. Scanlon

March 18, 1934 ~ March 17, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old



Edward L. Scanlon, a longtime executive at NBC TV, passed away on March 17th, one day short of his 90th birthday. His family was at his side. Ed, as he was known to all his friends, spent his boyhood and college years in Rhode Island. He served two years in the U.S. Army. His energy for life never flagged. He built a career that required him to travel to four continents and made friends on all of them. His career spanned a total of 44 years at RCA/GE.

His first assignment was in 1958 at RCA’s NJ transistor plant. He was a Foreman on the second shift working from midnight to 8 am. He didn’t know anything then about transistors, but he understood people. A Human Resources career evolved and included varied leadership roles at RCA’s picture tube manufacturing, RCA records, The Hertz Corporation, Corporate Staff and ultimately GE/NBC.

In 1986, Ed was the chief negotiator when General Electric acquired his company, RCA, the owner of NBC. At the time, it was the world’s largest corporate employee merger. After the merger, he played a major role in the everyday management of NBC. Many employees viewed Ed as a mentor and advisor who consistently gave good counsel even when delivering bad news. He handled problems in a way that helped people both improve performance and advance their careers.

Scanlon was known for his masterly touch in negotiations, with both major on-air talent in the news division or with sometimes contentious labor union leaders. Ed was responsible for negotiating deals with NBC’s top talent, including Katie Couric, Tom Brokaw, Matt Lauer and Tim Russert among others. Previously while at RCA Records, he had negotiated with Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker to acquire the singer’s RCA music catalogue for a mere $5 million.

Looking back at his career, Ed would say, “My job was always to get the job done. I know I was considered tough on many people I dealt with, but I would also like to think that I was always considered to be fair.” As reported in the New York Times, “At one point, 150 engineers from the National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians (NABET) took a fleet of elevators to the 52nd floor at Rockefeller Center and jammed into Mr. Scanlon’s office to protest how the negotiations were going.” “He took it very personally,” said the President of the Union’s Local 11… who later considered Ed to be a close personal friend. He noted, “Ed is tough, but honest. You trust him.”

Ed had an authentic interest in and a quick rapport with everyone who crossed his path in recording studios, cafeterias, and executive offices. He had a special talent for surprising employees by inquiring about their children and grandchildren by name and recalling details from their lives. This concern for others was on display when Ed witnessed the 9/11 attack from his office windows at 30 Rockefeller Center. He didn’t evacuate. He stayed in Manhattan that week, creatively orchestrating emergency efforts to provision food supplies from deserted local restaurants for the employees who remained in the city to report the tragedy.

Following his GE retirement, Ed was a consultant, investor, and board member, in various television projects and biotech startups. The qualities that served Ed so well throughout his professional career were cornerstones of his personal life as well. These traits were on display through his commitments to family, faith, and education. He served on the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House in New York City and was a supporter of the Naples Avow Hospice organization.

Ed graduated from Providence College in 1955 and had a lifelong affiliation with the school. He served on Providence College’s Board of Trustees, established multiple scholarships for students from his home states of New Jersey and Florida. He donated the Scanlon Financial Resource and Information Lab at the College’s Business School. Ed guided numerous alumni through their own impressive careers. Providence College awarded Ed an Honorary Doctorate Degree in 2000.

Ed’s leadership and generous spirit continued after his relocation to Naples, Florida. For many years he served as an Executive Board member of the Bay Colony Community Association and President of the Biltmore Condominium Association. He was a devoted parishioner at St. William Catholic Church. In retirement, Ed loved Big East college basketball, Red Sox spring training games, culinary explorations, and all things sociable. His favorite local pastime was fishing in the Gulf waters off Goodland where he said he felt closest to God. He took delight in teaching his young grandsons to fish.

Though Ed enjoyed a remarkable professional and philanthropic career, his family was his greatest joy. Ed is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Andrée Lejeune Scanlon. He is also survived by his daughter Kristin, and her husband Richard Collins, as well as his son Paul Scanlon and his wife, Alexis and five grandchildren, Caroline, Matthew, and William Collins, and Andrew and Christopher Scanlon.

Services will be held on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 10:00 am at St. William Catholic Church in Naples, Florida.


Memorial Mass
April 3, 2024

10:00 AM
St. William Catholic Church
601 Seagate Drive
Naples, FL 34108


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