Winter 2006

Tom Donovan

Member, 1960-Present

"I was offered $20 a day to stage manager in the upstart industry called television - $20 a day, on call, with no guarantee of days to be worked,” recalls former Guild National Vice President Tom Donovan. “Joe Papp, a fellow stage manager at the time, described the four steps of promotion at CBS: stage manager, assistant director, director, and out... Today things are better. Training programs, qualifications requirements, special projects, seminars, symposia, workshops and many other programs undertaken by the DGA have served in great measure to replace that early network proving ground.” As many TV shows moved to the West Coast, Donovan stayed in New York and enjoyed a rewarding career as a director and was named an honorary life member and given the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for his long service to the Guild. With its roots in the Radio and Television Directors Guild, the DGA’s Eastern operation has forged a rich tradition in the TV industry, thanks in part to Tom Donovan’s pioneering work.


The Legends column began as part of the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the DGA in 2006 to profile Guild members who have made outstanding contributions to their Guild in service and leadership.

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