Former CNN GC Passes Away at 56

Noted media attorney David Kohler, who for more than a decade was in-house media counsel to TBS and CNN passed away on Oct. 15 after a battle with cancer.

He joined the faculty of Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in 2003 and served as director of the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute. 

Colleague Richard Davis, CNN’s executive vice president of News Standards and Practices, commented, “For over 10 years at CNN, Dave Kohler gave his very best to ensure that CNN’s journalism was aggressive and accurate and fair.”

Southwestern Dean Bryant Garth said, “He was an inspirational mentor to our students and a reasoned voice in crucial First Amendment issues. His extensive network of colleagues around the globe is a direct reflection of the tremendous respect he garnered as a prominent figure in the entertainment and media industries.”

Kelli Sager, partner in the firm of Davis Wright Tremaine and one of the nation’s leading media lawyers, was a close friend of Kohler. She said, “Dave had an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm that was contagious. He had a lot of wonderful qualities – intelligence, common sense, a great sense of humor – but his most defining characteristic was the passion he brought to every aspect of his life, whether it was in his role as a First Amendment advocate, as a dedicated professor, or as a proud father. He will be sorely missed.”


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