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Who was Diane Ronnau? Tributes pour in as veteran CBS news producer passes away

Revered CBS News producer Diane Ronnau passes away (Image via CBS News, and secciemanuele/Facebook)
Revered CBS News producer Diane Ronnau passes away (Image via CBS News, and secciemanuele/Facebook)
Abhirup Sengupta

On Saturday, July 23, veteran producer of CBS News Diane Ronnau passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. As a producer, she worked on multiple news shows on the channel. However, Ronnau was best known for her contributions to 48 Hours and CBS Evening News.

In a 2007 interview with CBS' Sandra Hughes, Ronnau talked about her pancreatic cancer diagnosis and how she was determined to beat it. The veteran news producer was diagnosed with cancer prior to the aforementioned interview and had battled the disease for 15 years since then.

According to CBS News reporter Joy Benedict's Facebook tribute to Ronnau, the late news producer seemed to have beaten her cancer. However, her post also suggests that Ronnau's pancreatic cancer had remissioned.


What is known about the late Diane Ronnau?

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There isn't much information available about Diane Ronnau's life before her employment at CBS. According to her LinkedIn Profile, Ronnau joined CBS in 1990, where she worked for over 32 years.

In her three decades of employment at CBS, Ronnau produced shows like 48 Hours and the CBS Morning show. Her LinkedIn profile further established that the veteran news producer was a Los Angeles, California resident. In addition, she also occasionally produced CBS Sunday Morning. According to CBS:

"For the last 20 years, she was a producer for the "CBS Evening News," covering stories that spanned the legal and political worlds, as well as breakthroughs in medical and scientific innovation."

The news network's online publication portal further stated that Diane Ronnau was also associated with the recent coverage of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial verdict and sentencing for the murder of George Floyd. Ronnau had reportedly produced specific segments of the coverage.

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In 2018, Ronnau was jointly nominated for a Primetime Emmy in the category of "Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a Newscast" for the network's contribution to the coverage of the Las Vegas massacre.

Ronnau received the nomination as part of the group associated with the production and broadcast of the aforementioned segment in two shows, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and CBS This Morning.


Diane Ronnau's battle with pancreatic cancer

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The late CBS News producer did not reveal much about her ordeal with pancreatic cancer over the last 15 years. Ronnau explained her reasons for not being publicly open about the disease during her 2007 interview with Sandra Hughes. The Los Angeles native told the host:

"The truth is sometimes you do things because you have to do them. I am sick, but I also have responsibilities. I have a family, I have work, I have to do those things. As much as I was extremely worried by being sick, I also wanted to participate in the rest of my life that I am very attached to."

At the time, she further added:

"I chose not to be identified by cancer. I choose to be identified as a working mother."

According to some tweets following her death, Ronnau had Stage-IV pancreatic cancer. As insinuated by Joy Benedict's Facebook tribute to Ronnau, the late journalist is survived by her sons, Ben and Aiden.


Condolences rush in following the news of Diane Ronnau's demise

As CBS reported the announcement of her unfortunate demise, numerous well-wishers and colleagues of Ronnau took to Twitter and expressed their tributes to the late news producer.

Shout-out to my awesome lifelong friend, soul girl #1, #DianeRonnau. She faced down stage IV pancreatic cancer for over 15 years (median survival is 1), raising her boys to adulthood, w/ huge heart, uncontainable spirit, & great good humor. cbsnews.com/news/diane-ron… via @CBSNews
Everything is beautiful and I am so sad. RIP to the luminous Diane Ronnau. twitter.com/FilmmakerJulie… https://t.co/TmjCOLUOQr
This poem explores the combination of grief and wonder Julie and I and a lot of other people are feeling as we consider the loss of our beautiful, brilliant, and courageous friend, Diane Ronnau. We will miss you forever, Di. Adrift janicefalls.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/adr…
Thinking of you… my sweet friend @DianeRonnau twitter.com/cbssunday/stat…
A beautiful tribute to Diane Ronnau by @LeeCowanCBS who so eloquently captured what she meant to all of us here at @CBSNews. twitter.com/cbseveningnews…
@harrylitman @CBSNews May her memory be a blessing. My dad died of pancreatic cancer almost 20 years ago at 63, only 6 weeks after his diagnosis. Amazing she & her family — ans friends — had so much time together. ❤️💔
@harrylitman @CBSNews 15 year survival is an amazing accomplishment.
@CBSMornings …one of the finest humans i’ve ever known… the world is lesser without her.

Furthermore, several of her associates pointed out how she had survived cancer for 15 years. Meanwhile, others praised her contributions on CBS.


Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul

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