One day last week, Soapdom member, April, called to ask us if we knew who Guiding Light dedicated an episode to the day before. We missed seeing the dedication, so we contacted our sources at PGP and learned that the television division of Procter & Gamble had lost one of its greats. Thanks April for bringing this to our attention.
Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc., TeleVest Daytime Programs and Soapdom, Inc. are deeply saddened to announce the death of Philip R. Dixson. Known affectionately as Phil to all of his colleagues, Dixson, 64, died of complications from lung cancer at his home in Piermont, New York on Friday morning, November 10.
Dixson had spent the past 26 years working in the daytime television industry for the benefit of Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc. At the time of his death, Dixson was the Senior Vice President, Managing Director of TeleVest Daytime Programs overseeing the production of two of the country’s longest-running broadcast programs As The World Turns and Guiding Light. In November 1980, Dixson was recruited from CBS by the advertising agency Benton & Bowles, which at the time produced several Procter & Gamble dramatic serials including Another World, The Edge of Night, Search For Tomorrow and Texas. Dixson oversaw the program and production operations of all these shows at one time or another. In 1998, P&G Productions’ daytime operations TeleVest Daytime Programs became a business unit of MediaVest, a division of Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG). Dixson was named to his last position in 1994.
“With Phil’s passing, the entire daytime community and the television industry at large have lost a loyal friend,” says Pat Gentile, North American Programming Manager for Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc. He was a consummate professional even as his illness started to take its toll on him. I feel lucky to have had Phil as my mentor and personal tutor for the past 12 years and, as we all will, I’ll miss him dearly.”
He was a trustee of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Chapter of N.A.T.A.S. and was a founding member, Vice President and Secretary of the New York Production Alliance.
Born on November 21, 1941 in Appleton, Wisconsin, Dixson began his entertainment career at the Attic Theatre in Appleton by lugging scenery and cases of soft drinks during intermission. Throughout his high school and college years, Dixson’s interest in theatre arts grew and he returned home each summer to work as a technical director, production manager or designer on 29 plays at the Attic. Dixson holds a B.A. in English from Holy Cross College and an M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Drama in Technical Production, Design, Lighting and Administration. After graduation, Dixson joined CBS, Inc. in New York for its management trainee program in broadcast and production operations and joined the network in September 1967. For the next 13 years, Dixson held a series of positions including Manager Design Services for CBS Operations; Associate Producer for a daytime series with the CBS Programming Department; and was assigned to CBS News as a Field Manager for the 1972, 1976 and 1980 political conventions.
Soapdom expresses deepest sympathies to his family and colleagues at PGP. Dixson leaves behind his wife of 41 years, Jean, a son Christopher and his wife Kirsten, and a daughter Laurie Croiger and her husband Yannick, and three grandchildren.
Donations in Dixson’s memory can be made to United Hospice of Rockland, 11 Stokum Lane, New City, NY 10956.
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