Robert Arthur Stengel, 76, died at his home in Stowe on Thursday, July 4, 2019, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
He was formerly a principal at the media consulting group Continental Consulting Group LLC and senior vice president at MediaOne (Continental Cablevision Inc.).
Mr. Stengel was also a resident of Stuart, Fla.
He grew up in Marshfield, Mass., and attended Tufts University. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving in the U.S. Army Security Agency from 1965 to 1969.
He began his career as a print journalist and public affairs TV producer but quickly transitioned to the growing cable television industry, initially working for the National Cable Television Association in Washington, D.C., where he was Vice President of Public Affairs.
He subsequently began advising media clients on regulatory policy and developmental strategies as an independent consultant before he moved his family to Boston in 1980 to begin a long, successful tenure at Continental Cablevision Inc. At Continental, he was responsible for directing the overall content strategy for what would become the third-largest multiple system operator in the U.S. He played a pivotal role in the start-up of Viewers Choice, the TV Food Network, E! Entertainment Television and Outdoor Life Network.
Mr. Stengel was also involved with international cable operations in a number of countries, including Australia, Argentina, Singapore and the UK. His strong relationships with top media industry executives in the U.S. and abroad were integral in driving the success and expansion of Continental and its successor MediaOne in those markets.
After leaving Continental in 1998, Mr. Stengel co-founded Continental Consulting Group where, as a principal, he advised domestic and international media companies on acquisitions, business development, new network creation and distribution strategies. His clients included multiple system operators, established and start-up cable networks, investment groups, broadcasting companies and multimedia firms.
During his time at Continental/MediaOne, he served on numerous corporate boards, including E! Entertainment Television, The Golf Channel, TV Food Network, Sportsvision Australia, Outdoor Life Network/Speedvision, the National Academy of Cable Programming and the Cable Television Advertising Bureau executive committee. More recently, he was on the boards of Resorts Sports Network, American Public Television, and DataTV Networks.
Mr. Stengel enjoyed travel and had visited many countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia. His favorite times were when he was surrounded by his family, including his beloved grandchildren.
His philanthropic interests included land stewardship through the Stowe Land Trust as well as conservation of the Florida Everglades.
Survivors include his wife, Valerie Crane; his daughter Amy Stengel of Boulder, Colo., and son Alexander Stengel of Portland, Ore.; his step-daughters Hilary Crane-Stern of Roslindale, Mass., and Erika Houghtlin of Newton, Mass.; seven grandchildren; his sister Sue Porter; and his half-brother Jim Peterson.
The funeral service was held July 13 at St. John’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church in Stowe.