Former NBC Chicago Executive Dies

Ed Planer served as news director at WMAQ-TV during the 1970s

Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 6:17 PM CDT
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In Memoriam

Ed Planer

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Ed Planer, who served as news director at NBC Chicago during the 1970s, died Saturday in Atlanta at the age of 82.

The New York native began his career at WDSU-TV in New Orleans two decades before making the move to Chicago in 1972.

During his four years at WMAQ, he hired Jane Pauley, Greg Gumbel and Pat O'Brien. All went on to become well-known television personalities.

Planer left the station in 1976 and headed to New York, where he worked as a producer for NBC's TODAY program before taking on a roles as an executive vice president and later as the head of all European news-gathering operations.

He left the network in 1988, returning to Chicago to work in journalism roles at Northwestern University and Columbia College.

The same year he wrote a novel, "Shattered Images," which was based on television news.

Planer died at a hospice center in Atlanta. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Marilyn Levy Planer; as well as three children and four grandchildren.

Private funeral services were held Monday.

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