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October 01, 2011

Gene Webster, Television Station Executive and Publicist

Webster worked for years at KABC-TV and was a publicist for MGM, Paramount and CBS Films.

Gene Webster, former editorial director for KABC-TV and a publicist for MGM, died September 16, 2011, in Studio City, California. He was 86.

According to news reports, he died of natural causes.

Webster began his entertainment career as a staff writer and director at KNX/CBS Radio in Los Angeles, where he worked for 18 years. He then worked as a publicist for MGM, Paramount and CBS Films in the mid-1960s, promoting such films as Dr. Zhivago, The Sterile Cuckoo, With Six You Get Eggroll and such television series as The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

He then moved to KABC-TV, where he worked for 18 years doing on-air editorials.

Webster was president and board member of the Los Angeles Press Club, board member of Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists and co-founder of the National Broadcast Editorial Assn. He also served as president of the Los Angeles County Commission on Alcoholism.

One of Webster’s editorials on organ donations led to the placement of pink dot donor symbols on California driver’s licenses.

He was born in Shelton, Nebraska, and served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, after which he moved to Los Angeles.

Webster is survived by his wife, a son and a grandson. A daughter and son preceded him in death.

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