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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Memorial Services for Mike Daniels Announced

The legendary broadcaster was a USC alum, adjunct journalism teacher, and worked for nearly 40 years at KCBS.

Friends, family, former students and colleagues will gather Sunday to remember Mike Daniels, a legendary broadcast journalist in Los Angeles and a beloved teacher at USC Annenberg.

Daniels died last week after a long battle with cancer, almost one month shy of his 77th birthday.

An interment ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. at Hillside Memorial Park, and a memorial service will follow at 4:30 p.m. at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey.

Mike Daniels graduated from USC in 1958 and began teaching broadcast journalism production at USC Annenberg in 1974. (Facebook)
Mike Daniels graduated from USC in 1958 and began teaching broadcast journalism production at USC Annenberg in 1974. (Facebook)

Daniels launched his broadcasting career during his final year studying at USC - back in 1958 - when he began working at KNXT/KCBS-TV. He remained at the CBS affiliate for nearly 40 years, working as a producer, manager and newswriter for every newscast. Daniels' stories - ranging from investigative pieces to breaking news - earned him several Emmys and Golden Mike awards.

Colleague and USC professor of journalism Joe Saltzman said Daniels was a "calming force" in the hectic, fast-paced world of TV news.

"All... could be breaking around him - complete chaos with people screaming and running around - but Mike would sit there in the eye of the newsroom hurricane, quietly and patiently putting the newscast together," said Saltzman, who hired Daniels as an adjunct journalism instructor at USC in 1974.

Daniels' steady and gentle demeanor inspired the character Felix in Neil Simon's The Odd Couple - a role played by Tony Randall in a long-running TV series and later, by Jack Lemmon opposite Walter Matthau.

It was that same kindness that his former students at USC, Loyola-Marymount University, and the internship program at KCBS recalled when news of Daniels' passing was announced last week. Students, colleagues and friends took to his Facebook page to post memories and celebrate his spirit. 

Friends especially mourned his absence at the California Yacht Club, where Skipper Daniels - who sailed his beloved Grand Cru - could be counted on for a lively conversation on a range of topics. 

“He was a great teacher, mentor and friend," said Mike Runzler. "I’ve got great memories both in the classroom and on the water."

Daniels is survived by two brothers, Mark and Alan, and sister-in-law Jan. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism – Mike Daniels Fund, sent to the Annenberg School of Journalism, 3502 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA. 90089-0281.

Funeral Details - Sunday, April 21, 2013

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Interment at Hillside Memorial Park. 6001 W Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

4:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Memorial Service at the California Yacht Club. 4469 Admiralty Way Marina del Rey, CA 90292.

The California Yacht Club is located on the main channel of Marina del Rey, on the left side of Admiralty Way between the Warehouse and Cafe Del Rey restaurants.

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