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Posts Tagged ‘Lane Venardos’

Scott Pelley, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams and More Turn Out to Remember Lane Venardos

Longtime CBS News executive Lane Venardos was fondly remembered Wednesday in a moving service at the Paley Center in New York City.

Venardos who died August 19 at his home in Maui, spent 30 years at CBS News producing live news, special events and documentaries. He would go on to produce the “Survivor” live finales for Mark Burnett on CBS.

More than 200 luminaries from across the television industry attended the memorial, including CBS News chairman Jeff Fager, News president David Rhodes; Charles Osgood, Scott Pelley, Bob Schieffer, Lesley Stahl, and Rita Braver; current “CBS Evening News” EP Pat Shevlin, CBS News VP Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews (who currently has the job Venardos once held) and “Sunday Morning” EP Rand Morrison.

Also Diane Sawyer, now with ABC News, who worked with Venardos during her time at CBS and from NBC: Brian Williams, News president Steve Capus and former CBSer, now EP of “Rock Center” Rome Hartman, were there, as was former CBS News president Andrew Heyward. ABC’s “This Week” EP Rick Kaplan, and former “GMA” boss Jim Murphy, both former CBS Newsers, attended.

Former CBS News and CBS, Inc. president Howard Stringer, who worked closely with Venardos during his years at CBS and who is now CEO of Sony, spoke via video. Other speakers included Pelley, Stahl, Williams and Venardos’s daughter Kelly who is a producer for “NBC Nightly News.” CBS News “48 Hours” EP Susan Zirinsky presented a video tribute (after the jump). The service concluded with a vocal solo performed by Venardos’s son, Kevin.

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Former CBS News VP Lane Venardos Passes Away

CBS News has announced that Lane Venardos, an award-winning producer of live news, special events and documentaries over a 30 year career with CBS News, has died at the age of 67. Venardos suffered a heart attack in his home in Maui, HI., last evening where he retired several years ago.

“Lane was a wonderful and talented man who had a great gift: he had the ability to make everyone around him smile and laugh no matter what the circumstances,” said Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman and the executive producer of “60 Minutes”.

Venardos played an integral role in CBS News coverage of major events and breaking news beginning in 1986, when he was named executive producer of Special Events, eventually becoming the unit’s deputy director, director, and ultimately, vice president. The job took him across the globe producing coverage of major global events including the crackdown in China’s Tiananmen Square in May 1989 and the Persian Gulf War in 1990. Venardos was also executive producer of CBS News political coverage in 1986, ’88, ’90, ’92 and ’98.

Venardos retired in January of 2000 but remained a consultant to CBS News. Following his retirement, he returned to New York to produce several of the final “Survivor” live episodes for Mark Burnett. He is survived by his wife, Karen and four children, including Kelly Venardos-Ward who followed her father into the business and is a producer for “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” and son Kevin Venardos who is a performer and the Ringmaster of the Big Apple Circus.