Former CBS News VP Lane Venardos Passes Away

By Chris Ariens 

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.