Mr. Byrne is the Vice Chairman of Penske Media Corp, which owns leading entertainment, fashion, art and digital media brands that include Rolling Stone, Variety, The Robb Report and Art in America. Byrne’s decades of accomplishments as a media executive, entrepreneur and community leader are highlighted by a long run as publisher of Variety where he dramatically transformed that business into a powerful, diversified, global media brand. The start-up publisher of both Electronic Media and Crain’s New York Business, Byrne also successfully created The Quill Awards for NBC before he led a division of Nielsen that included The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard. Adweek and Backstage. Additionally, Byrne, currently serves as Executive Chairman Washington Life Magazine.
A staunch believer in “participation”, Mr. Byrne is on the boards of numerous not-for-profits including Fisher House (Executive Committee), The Intrepid Museum, Veterans Advantage (Advisory Board), The Bob Woodruff Foundation, The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research, Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Plaza, The Creative Coalition, The Hamptons International Film Festival (Chairman, Advisory Board), The IFP – Independent Filmmaker Project, The John A. Reisenbach Foundation (Chairman), and The Armory Foundation. He is also on the U. S. Advisory Council of the IESE Business School, University of Navarra in Barcelona, the Advisory Board of the Fordham University Gabelli School and the Board of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In November 2012, Mr. Byrne also launched, as Founder/Chairman, the first ever Veterans Week NYC, a series of events dedicated to honoring and supporting veterans and their families. And in May 2017, as Founder/Chairman, Mr. Byrne launched Veterans on Campus NYC, a veteran’s support consortium composed of all the NYC colleges and universities where veterans attend on the GI Bill.
Mr. Byrne was awarded the “Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Award” at ShowEast ’96, New York’s Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center’s 2002 Distinguished Service Award and the NYPD Marine Corps Association 2002 “Semper Fi” Award for his work in the community. And in June 2009, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented Mr. Byrne the “Made In NY” Award for his support of Gotham’s entertainment and media industries. In November 2017, General Robert Neller, then Commandant of the Marine Corps, presented Mr. Byrne the Department of the Navy’s Meritorious Public Service Award. And in March 2019, he was named to the Hillvets 100. Hillvets is a DC based initiative seeking to amplify the power and presence of veterans in government, policy, and politics.
Mr. Byrne is a member of The British Academy of Film & Television Arts and The New York Athletic Club.
A 1966 graduate of Fordham College, Mr. Byrne served as a Marine Officer in Vietnam in 1968/69 and was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat V.