Philadelphia Newsman Don Lancer, Longtime Fixture On KYW 1060, Dead At 68

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Legendary Philadelphia newsman Don Lancer passed away this morning after a battle with cancer.

“Good morning, I’m Don Lancer.  On Independence Mall it’s…”

In 37 years, Don said those words on KYW Newsradio 1060 thousands of times, but he never sounded bored or tired.

Listen to the voice of Don Lancer…

“He loved putting together an entertaining show, an informative show, and he could do it with style,” recalls Harry Donahue, a morning news anchor at KYW Newsradio and a longtime Lancer colleague.

(Clip of Don Lancer on KYW:)  “Traffic was pretty well snarled on the Roosevelt Boulevard extension when a truckload of hogs broke down (laughs).  Richard Maloney, our transportation reporter, you’ve covered a lot of good ones in your day.  Can you tell us something about this one?”

“And then he got into doing business reports, and he made those entertaining,” adds Harry Donahue.  “I mean, some of the best radio we’ve ever had, I think, was Don Lancer and Fred Sherman in the morning.”

Don retired from KYW in 2008 but continued to be heard occasionally in advertisements on the station.

Vince Hill, who took over as business editor at KYW Newsradio, recalls Lancer’s quick wit.

“You know, he made fun of everything,” says Hill.  “He made fun of me, but I appreciated everything he did for me, and I learned a lot.  Don, you taught me a lot, bud. Take it easy.”

The Bacchi Funeral Home distributed an obituary on Monday afternoon that said in part, “Relatives and friends are invited to his funeral mass at Mother of Divine Providence Church, 333 Allendale Rd., King of Prussia, on Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 11:00am.  Donald’s viewings will be Wednesday evening from 6 to 8pm at the Bacchi Funeral Home and Crematory, Ltd., 805 DeKalb St. (Rt. 202), Bridgeport, Pa. and also Thursday morning from 10 to 10:50am, at the church. Interment will be private in Calvary Cemetery, Lower Merion Twp., Pa.

“In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Don’s memory to World Wide Marriage Encounter, c/o Tony & Cathy Witczak, 30 Sullivan Rd., Wayne, PA 19087.”

Click below to hear a montage of Don’s broadcasts. It includes Don’s 1977 KYW Newsradio Holiday greeting, a few of his his funiest moments behind the microphone, his interview with President Clinton in October of 1994, and Don’s last business report from February 29, 2008.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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One Comment

  1. Dave says:

    I used to listen to Don Lancer from overseas back when CBS did not block the radio streams on the internet from being heard outside the USA. It was always interesting to listen to the calm tone and wonderful voice with which he read the news. God bless his soul!

  2. Sandi says:

    God Bless the soul of Don Lancer as well as provide strength to his family for this sad loss. He would always have a smile on his face the few times I would speak with him at church.

    God Bless You, Don and know your voice will always linger in us!

  3. Mike Schapiro says:

    Left KY in 1975 not long after Don arrived. But he was a pro and a riot. Many happy times. Thoughts are with his family. Shoutouts to the two Harrys and whoever else was there with me when KY moved to #1.

  4. Tom & Teresa says:

    Hey Don, we still have you here beside us in spirit. That will never change. Still dreaming.

  5. JohnB says:

    I will truly miss his voice which was so recognizable over the radio on KYW.
    Requiescat in pace.

  6. CJM says:

    RIP Don you were among the very best at what you did.

  7. glennk says:

    Another magnificent voice of Philadelphia has gone to rest.

    I’ve grown up with KYW Newsradio and Don Lancer will always be a part of that. My prayers and condolences go out to his family, friends and all of the colleagues whose lives he touched.

  8. Kathelleen says:

    He was a loving man, a caring man. He has a lot of love in his soul. Thank you Don and Diane for being an inspiration to what love is about. He truely loved his wife, family, friends, and everyone who got to know him. Enjoy your “NEW WORLD”. Love ya!

  9. AMS says:

    I will truly miss my favorite KYW reporter. I knew him not only as a reporter, but also as my godfather and very close family friend. I will miss his voice and presence. Rest in peace Uncle Don.

  10. Ro Padiyar says:

    My parents and I would always listen to Don Lancer in our cars whenever we drove around. I can’t get enough of that voice. Only reminds me of that of Harry Kalas.


  11. William E. King says:

    Don Lancer always got my day started in the morniing before I would go to work. I will miss him very much. My condolences to his family. R.I.P.

  12. kate says:

    his voice has always been comforting to me. so sad to know the voice is gone. RIP Mr. Lancer.

  13. Zack says:

    I had the distinct honor of working with Mr. Lancer during the three years prior to his retirement from KYW. It was not only a professional highlight of my 24 year radio career to be able to call him a colleague … but I will always be thankful that I had the chance to get to know him personally. He was a very funny & sharp witted man … but always a consummate professional first.

    My thoughts are with his family, and also my fellow KYW alumni.

    You will be truly be missed, “Uncle Don.”

    Former KYW Newsradio Production Director

  14. Harold Spriddle says:

    Don you was the man and will be missed…RIP

  15. MemeGRL says:

    His voice always meant I was home. Thanks for the memories!

  16. Stephen Lyford says:

    I’m a life-long KYW 1060 listener, and Don’s voice and talent will be sorely missed.

  17. Dorothy Jones says:

    My condolences to his family and KYW news.

  18. Swank says:

    I will second what Ed Fischer said. I worked near him but not with him. Our paths crosses a few times and yes, Don was a lovable curmudgeon. I looked forward to speaking with him as l always knew he’d say something to make me laugh or bring a smile to my face. I too will miss his unmistakable voice and sense of professionalism he conveyed so well for so long on air.

  19. Joel Porter, M.D. says:

    Don Lancer, KYW News Radio. His voice and personality is irreplaceable.
    Don was obviously a good guy. I will miss him. R.I.P.

  20. Ed Fischer says:

    I am proud to say that for seven years Don’s desk was next to mine in the KYW Newsradio newsroom. He was a kind-hearted curmudgeon who never took himself too seriously but was always a top-notch newsman, on the air and off. His contribution to KYW Newsradio will never be forgotten, and his former coworkers will remember him fondly. Our prayers go out to his family.

    — Ed Fischer, web editor, KYW Newsradio 1060

  21. Clare Peterson says:

    Such sad news. As a longtime KYW listener, I have memories of the Don and Fred Show–it proved radio comedy didn’t die out after all.
    I hope the station does a tribute to him, and that Broadcast Pioners also gives him a shout-out.





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