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Martin Burns, RIP

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Martin Burns pictured with Araksya Karapetyan at a FOX family function.


My friend and long-time producer Martin Burns died last week in a terrible accident while Martin was hiking in the rugged terrain around Los Angeles.

It is hard to describe the relationship between a host and a producer, but all of us who worked for a decade with Martin on KCET’s Life & Times would agree he was the sweetest but also most professional man you could ever hope to work alongside.  Just last week I sent off a final manuscript that quoted Martin’s routine invocation of the single word “Energy!” before every live broadcast, and L&T ran for more than a decade under his guiding hand and his urging of “energy.”  He was a tireless seeker of truth and a relentless promoter of and protector of the people who worked for and with him.  He was also a terrific father and husband, friend and colleague.

Martin was my senior producer and collaborator on the 1996 PBS series Searching for God in America, so we spent weeks and weeks on the road, tracking down and holding long interviews with people like His Holiness the Dali Lama, LDS Apostle Neal Maxwell, Chuck Colson and Father Thomas Keating.  The subject matter and the long hours of prep together leave me certain that God has welcomed one of his favorite translators into His kingdom, but the going was far too soon and the grieving will last a long time.


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