Joan Meyerson, an award-winning TV writer-producer and a longtime WGA West board member, will receive the 2019 Morgan Cox Award in recognition of her decades-long service to the guild. She’ll be honored at February 17 at the Writers Guild Awards L.A. ceremony.
“I had the pleasure of serving on the board of directors with Joan for many years, and no one better exemplifies dedication to our guild and its members than she does,” said WGA West president David A. Goodman. “She is one of our most valued, hard-working and selfless leaders, and the current board and I are thrilled we have the opportunity to honor her service.”
Meyerson served five terms on the guild’s board from 1991-95, 2002-04 and 2005-09, and served on the WGA’s 2004 negotiating committee and numerous other guild committees over the years. A guild member since 1972, she was a picket team captain during the 1981 WGA strike. She is also a former board member of Women in Film and the International Documentary Association.
She has written numerous television programs throughout her career. They include more than a dozen PBS National Memorial Day Concert specials over the past two decades, which earned her Writers Guild Awards in 2007 and 2011, as well as a nomination in 2013. While writing these annual TV specials honoring America’s men and women in uniform, she worked closely with vets and military families to share their stories.
She began her career in television during the 1970s at David L. Wolper Productions, where she wrote and produced several episodes of The Explorers series, as well as serving as associate producer of the John Glenn special, On the Trail of Stanley and Livingston, and the Oscar-nominated documentary Say Goodbye, which chronicled endangered species.
Meyerson has written, directed, and produced multiple episodes for broadcast and cable TV series such as Zoolife with Jack Hanna, The Hunt for Amazing Treasures and Things That Go Bump: Facing Our Fears. For PBS, her writing credits range from the documentary special Michiyo and Kelly: A Quest for Education to co-writing the Empires miniseries Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire, which received an International Documentary Association nomination for Best Limited Series. She also co-wrote and co-produced the top-rated PBS series Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses, based on the bestselling book by Bruce Feiler. She also penned numerous episodes of nonfiction TV programs such as Mysteries, Legends, Icons, Superstars of the 20th Century, Last of the Wild and Untamed World.
After graduating from the UC Berkeley, she landed a summer job as an associate producer of a local TV talk show, booking a diverse range of guests from Phyllis Diller to Ronald Reagan, which exposed her to the drama of real-life events that would later inform her career as a documentary filmmaker.