Sunday, August 21, 2011

{alltv} Ex CBS News VP dead at 67

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LOS ANGELES - Emmy-winning former CBS News vice president Lane Venardos, who produced coverage of such historic events as the Persian Gulf War and China's Tiananmen Square protests, has died. He was 67.

Venardos suffered a heart attack Friday at his home in Maui, Hawaii, where he retired.

"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," CBS News chairman and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager said in a statement. "So many of us at CBS News loved him and we will miss him very much."

In 1986, he was named executive producer of Special Events, and was eventually named vice president of Hard News and Special Events. During the Tiananmen Square coverage in 1989 — which interrupted Dallas — millions of Americans watched him argue with Chinese officials who wanted to stop his operation's reporting.

His Persian Gulf coverage included America Tonight, a weeknight news program he created that aired at 11:30 p.m. and was anchored by Charles Kuralt and Lesley Stahl.

He also supervised coverage of world summits in Moscow, Malta, Iceland, London, Bonn, Rome, Paris, Tokyo and Beijing.

He produced the CBS News special Lucy, broadcast on the day of Lucille Ball's death, April 26, 1989.

He won an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University award for the seminal documentary 48 HOURS on Crack Street, a precursor of 48 Hours and 48 Hours Mystery.

His work earned him 13 Emmy awards.

He is survived by his wife, Karen (nee Keegan), a brother, and four children.

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