Former CBS News VP Lane Venardos Dies at 67

He worked at CBS News for more than 30 years.

Award-winning producer Lane Venardos, who worked at CBS News for more than 30 years, has died at 67 after suffering a heart attack at his home in Maui, where he retired several years ago, on Friday night.

Venardos played a key role in CBS News coverage of major events and breaking news starting in 1986, when he was named as executive producer of special events before beng promoted to deputy director, director and vice president of hard news and special events.

“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 executive producer of 60 Minutes. “So many of us at CBS News loved him and we will miss him very much.”

He covered the events at China's Tiananmen Square in May 1989, telecast during CBS' Dallas, in which Chinese officials tried to shut down Venardos' satellite news operation. Venardos has also produced CBS News' coverage of the Persian Gulf War and has supervised coverage of world summits, Hirohito's funeral in 1989 and the meeting between the leaders of China and the Soviet Union in Beijing. Venardos was also the EP of CBS News' coverage of the political campaigns in 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992 and 1998.

He produced the CBS News special about Lucille Ball's life, Lucy, which was broadcast on the day of her death, April 26, 1989. Venardos won an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University award for 48 Hours on Crack Street, which served as a precursor for 48 Hours Mystery.

Venardos has won 13 Emmy Awards for his work.

Venardos was born June 20, 1944 in Alton, Ill., and was graduated from Southern Illinois State University in 1966 with a B.A. degree in business administration. He is survived by his wife, Karen, a brother, John, and four children: Kevin, Kimberly, Kelly Venardos-Ward and Kasey Venardos-Gilhuly.