Home Entertainment Ron Weiner, Three-Time Emmy-Winning TV Director for ‘Donahue,’ Dies at 93

Ron Weiner, Three-Time Emmy-Winning TV Director for ‘Donahue,’ Dies at 93


Ron Weiner, a television director at WGN Chicago for 25 years and three-time Daytime Emmy-winning director for talkshow “Donahue,” died on March 18 in Baltimore, Md. He was 93.

Weiner directed shows including “Donahue,” “An Evening With B.B. King,” “Garfield Goose and Friends” and produced “Bozo’s Circus.” He was nominated for four Emmys and won three for “Donahue.”

Weiner’s began his career in television in 1956 when he landed a job as a prop man at the Chicago Tribune-owned WGN Television. He joined the technical staff and worked his way up to WGN staff director by 1960. Weiner then directed several programs in WGN’s schedule, from the sign-on routine to news, children’s programs, interview shows, and broadcasts of Cubs games and other sports events.

After the success of “Donahue,” Weiner worked on talk shows and pilot productions for Tribune Broadcasting. There, he directed “How to Be a No-Limit Person” with Wayne Dyer and “The World of Anne Frank,” an hourlong docudrama.

Ron was also an a professor at Columbia College, his alma mater, for several decades where he taught classes in television direction. He was active in the arts community, serving on the boards of the Shakespeare Project of Chicago, the North Shore Chamber Orchestra Society, the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and the Chicago coordinating committee of the Directors Guild of America. He was named a Chicago/Midwest Silver Circle Award honoree by NATAS in 2003.

Weiner’s wife, Phyllis Zolno Weiner, died in 2008. They shared four children, Deborah, Lauren, Vicki and Howard, an exec at NBCU, and two grandchildren, Griffin and Jameer.