Former WDSU, WMAQ News Director Ed Planer Dies

By Chris Ariens 

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A New Orleans TV news pioneer, Ed Planer passed away Saturday in Atlanta. He was 82.

Ed Planner was a reporter and anchor at WDSU-TV in the 1950s. In 1966, he would be named news director of the station. In 1972, Planer moved to Chicago where he spent four years as News Director of WMAQ. During his time in Chicago, Planer convinced a young Indianapolis reporter named Jane Pauley to take a job at WMAQ. Two years later, Pauley would be tapped to co-anchor the “Today” show, a seat she would fill for the next 13 years.

Planer also hired Greg Gumbel and Pat O’Brien, as well as  Martha Teichner, now with CBS News, for jobs at WMAQ.

In 1976 Planer also moved to NBC News in New York, where he started as a producer for “Today” and would later head up European news-gathering operations. Planner left NBC News in 1988.