Feder: Former WGN news director Paul Davis dies

  • Paul Davis

    Paul Davis

Updated 4/19/2021 9:51 AM

Paul Davis, a onetime Downstate Illinois news anchor who became an influential TV news executive and a widely admired statesman for his profession, led WGN-Channel 9 into the modern era of broadcast journalism during 13 years as news director of "Chicago's Very Own."

In a career that spanned six decades, he served as president of two of the nation's largest professional organizations -- the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.


Davis died of cancer Sunday at Heritage Health Therapy and Senior Care in Gibson City, Illinois, according to his daughter, Marinell Croson. He was 82.

"Paul Davis was a booming presence at WGN-TV and in life," said Paul Rennie, vice president and general manager of WGN. "He had a true journalist's eye and had a great impact on the news, both at WGN and beyond. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Jim Disch, longtime assistant news director under Davis, recalled: "My best years in the TV news business were those spent with Paul at WGN. He was instrumental in guiding the TV careers of many journalists, not just in Chicago, but across the nation."

Get the full report, and more Chicago media news, at robertfeder.com.

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