Canadian cable pioneer Israel "Sruki" Switzer, who built and consulted on cable systems from Canada to the US to Hong Kong and New Zealand during the 1970s and 1980s, died of a heart attack at his winter home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 87.
Switzer is credited with greatly advancing the Canadian cable TV industry and inspiring others such as Moses Znaimer and Ted Rogers, who led a boom in the telecommunications sector through the ’70s and ’80s.
His death was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by David Kines, president and co-founder of Canadian cable channel Hollywood Suite.
In 2009, Switzer, who is the father of Hollywood Suite co-founder and former CHUM Television CEO Jay Switzer, was inducted into Canada’s Telecommunications Hall of Fame, with the organization saying he was “widely regarded as the most knowledgeable cable technology engineer Canada has ever produced.”
Donations in memoriam can be made to Temple B'nai Tikvah of Calgary or the Phyllis R Switzer Memorial Scholarship at Ryerson University.