Lisa Colagrossi, well respected within the walls of WABC-TV and among her many peers, died after suffering a brain aneurysm while on a story Thursday in Queens.
Tuned In learned the family made the painful decision to remove Colagrossi from life support Friday morning. She was 49.
She worked the early shift on Eyewitness News This Morning to spend more time with her boys, ages 11 and 15.
Colagrossi joined Channel 7 in September 2001, freelancing just days after the 9/11 attacks.
One good friend and local broadcaster describes Colagrossi as “kind, generous, and a women’s woman in a business that is tough for women to be together.”
Perhaps shocked, the station did not air a tribute Friday. Many colleagues, however, turned to Twitter and Facebook to grieve.
There is shock and sadness still permeating Channel 7. It’s been a week since venerable investigative reporter Sarah Wallace left the station. Questions remain as to why she’s no longer part of the “Circle 7” staff after more than three exemplary decades.
Did Wallace quit? Did she get fired? Was she pushed out by News Director Camille Edwards?
While it may take time for those answers to be revealed, it is clear that the station is devastated by the abruptness of her departure and lack of closure.
“People are heartbroken at the loss. Sarah is respected, admired and loved by her colleagues,” a station insider tells Tuned In. “It’s like a death in the family.”
One veteran anchor takes it a step further for her longtime friend and colleague.
WPIX’s Kaity Tong writes on her Facebook page that Wallace is “absolutely THE most dedicated, tenacious, fair, and professional journalist around. She is brilliant. And has been brilliant for more than 30 years.”
Longtime investigative reporter Sarah Wallace is no longer at Channel 7. Insiders tell Tuned In the award-winning reporter abruptly left the station Thursday.
There is some confusion surrounding her departure.
“We don’t know what happened,” a source says. “She’s a great reporter and a huge part of the Eyewitness News team. But why this happened – no one has said and no one seems to know.”
But we do know she is beloved by most at the station. Her former co-workers started sending an email chain sharing how they felt about her work.
“The outpouring of support for her has been huge,” another insider says.
That outpouring is apparently not extending to management. News director Camille Edwards sent a two-sentence note to staffers saying, “I wanted to let you know that Sarah Wallace is no longer with Eyewitness News. We want to thank Sarah for her many years of service and wish her the best,” FTVLive reports.
It all started for Wallace at WABC in 1984, originally as a consumer reporter.
But she found her calling on the investigative beat, where she would chase down subjects with a kinder/gentler version of Mike Wallace’s ambush theater perfected on 60 Minutes.