Former Freedom CEO Burl Osborne passes away
Aug. 16 - Burl Osborne, a former Interim CEO and member of Freedomís Board of Directors, passed away Wednesday of a sudden illness. He was 75. Osborne was a friend to many at Freedom, a true leader in the media industry a passionate advocate for quality journalism. He will be missed.
Osborne served as the Interim Chief Executive Officer at Freedom Communications from July 2009 to June 2010, where he led Freedom through a successful restructuring. He also served as Freedomís Board of Directors from May 2004 to July 2012.
Osborne's began his career as a journalist, which ignited his passion for the industry: "Nothing is ever as much fun as being a reporter," Osborne said during an interview with employees when first joining Freedom in 2009. "You're on your own. You have access to curious, interesting, straight-arrow, and wonderfully good and evil people. It's a fascinating way to interact with people in all facets of society. Later, it was about preservation of a terrific news operation. I elected when the opportunity came to go down that track. While much of what Iíve done throughout my career has been rewarding and satisfying, I really discovered the passion for the business as a reporter."
Mr. Osborne, who lived in Dallas, formerly held several leadership positions in the Belo Corporation, including President, Publishing Division, from 1995 to 2001; Director from 1987 to 2002; and Publisher of The Dallas Morning News Co. from 1986 to 2001. As executive editor of the Dallas Morning News beginning in 1980, he was credited with building the newspaper into one of the most innovative dailies in the country.
Mr. Osborne also served as Chairman of the Board of the Associated Press from 2002 to 2007, Chairman of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and director of Newspaper Association of America.
He is survived by his wife Betty, a son, Jonathan Osborne, of Austin, Texas, and a grandson, Harry.