A Tribute to Lisa Colagrossi from WABC-TV

“Oh my god… something is wrong!”
The last words uttered by a beloved local journalist in New York 7 years ago Saturday. On March 20th, 2015, she died, after being admitted to an ICU and there was no other option for recovery. Just before she uttered her last words, a radio reporter for 1010 WINS had tweeted this out on the 1 year anni of her passing, that he was the last person she had contact with just minutes before.

Her colleagues had characterized her as the reporter who “out hustled her native New York” counterparts. Her first assignment was the Sunday following September 11th providing live updates from the lower end of Manhattan.
A couple months after the attacks, She was one of the first reporters to get into Brooklyn after a tragic passenger plane crash. I recall (don’t quote me in verbatim) running into a second-hand Facebook post where a producer from the station recalled that event being shocked they had a crew on the scene. Apparently Lisa and the driver of the live truck sped against an FDNY fire truck, and apparently that moment the islands were getting locked down. 2 months into her job, she literally chased after a story. If I remember properly, back at the base on West 66th in Manhattan; the producers still couldn’t spell her name properly, and were surprised at how fast she could get a story.
Before that, she had worked in Orlando at WKMG and before that was an anchor at WKYC, of which the station had gotten new owners and management, it was owned by NBC and treated the station like an abandoned red-head stepchild. She was one of the new, trusted-faces to rebuild the credibility for Cleveland.
But her New York experiment was cut really short. A stranger can safely assume without much doubt that her days at WABC-TV was like her second family. And the Channel 7 family treated her like one too. She was in a class of herself, I can’t compare her to any other local New York reporter. It doesn’t take you less than a few minutes, being the outside out of the market, like your Humble Minifig newsie, and if you loved local news, you could understand Lisa very quickly.
It’s also safe to assume she could’ve retired or done more time at Channel 7, but unfortunately was many years too early. She died as a lifer, as I would describe, and perhaps her hard work, may had compensated the over 13 years she had served that seemed more like 3 decades.
The days that followed her passing, people at the ABC-owned sister stations, and people who had once worked with gave their pouring of their condolences. Also it should be noted, that the fan-community was also heartbroken. Her loss was widespread, and there isn’t anyone that will ever be like her.
As I posted on social media, one hopes if there is an afterlife that she’s somewhere where she has a permanent position as an anchor. She deserved that position given how much selfless she was professionally… let’s be honest, she enjoyed filling in on the weekday morning newscasts!

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