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Wendy Rieger, News4’s favorite presenter, dies after battle with cancer – NBC4 Washington

Wendy Rieger, a longtime News4 presenter and reporter, died Saturday morning after battling glioblastoma. Wendy was holding her husband Dan’s hand when he died. She was 65.

For almost 35 years, Wendy had a way of illuminating the screen. You never know exactly what you will get.

Except … yes, you’ll know exactly what you’re going to get.

All these years, Wendy was Wendy: smart, funny, compassionate, and authentic.

She has shared much of her life with us over the years, talking about her homes, her cats, her boat, her love of wine, and her love of the area from the waters of Maryland to the mountains of Virginia. And, of course, the culture of Washington.

Wendy came to Washington to study at the American University in the Northwestern District of Columbia. Her career began in radio with her strong, euphonic voice, broadcast on WAMU and WTOP.

However, when she started in News4, it was clear that Wendy belonged to the camera.

In the photos: 30 years Wendy Rieger

You may remember Wendy’s unique reflection of hurricanes up and down the east coast. She also reports from the Olympics in Brazil, a royal wedding in England and chases news from New Zealand to Vietnam.

And for 20 years, she was that fun, engaging friend I signed up with every night at 5 o’clock. Her first partner at the desk was Susan Kidd, and then she spent 14 years with the man she calls Handly.

The chemistry between Wendy and Jim Handley was magical from the start. The News4 team could hear their howling laughter from the dressing room to the newsroom.

Wendy was spontaneous and funny, but she also knew things.

Producers have always known that Wendy could convey complex foreign policy news or criminal political history. She was one of the first television journalists to regularly cover the environment through her breakthrough series Going Green.

And oh, can he write. Her scripts were the standard her colleagues sought to reach. Jim Vance, our late colleague, described Wendy’s talent as “finely qualified.”

The last story Wendy wrote was a sincere reflection on our late colleague Joe Krebs. She would miss his funeral that week because she wasn’t feeling well.

It turned out that a brain tumor was the cause of her symptoms. The diagnosis was made just months after Wendy’s open heart surgery. Wendy talked about this operation with News4 viewers because he wanted to warn people to pay attention to their symptoms.

Through it all – on and off television – Wendy showed us how powerful he is. When she left the air after 33 years, we saw our strong, smart, creative and curious friend looking back with pride and forward with hope.

Wendy Rieger has been covering DC news for more than 40 years. Now she is ready to start a new chapter in life. In this video, Wendy shares what she plans to do, what she will miss on NBC4, and tips for journalists.

Her cancer returned only a few months after that magical day.

In a note to the newsroom, she wrote: “As you know, I have lived a long and noisy life. This is my nature. And I enjoyed it. But the silence was deep and powerful. I didn’t know I could be so quiet. Life is not always a test. This is a teaching. I must learn this lesson by grace. And I will.”

And you did, Wendy. You did it with grace and dignity that we will never forget.

News4 family note on Wendy Rieger’s death

Today we lost our smart, lively, wonderful Wendy Rieger.

Wendy loved life as much as he loved her. She had so many passions and lived her life sharing them with anyone she could. For more than 30 years, NBC4 Washington viewers have benefited from her unique style, which combines humor, intelligence and compassion, and we are all better at knowing her.

Wendy was diagnosed with brain cancer almost a year ago. He underwent surgery and treatment, then retired in December with the intention of enjoying the rest of his life and starting a new chapter. Her cancer returned aggressively a few weeks ago, and she died this morning holding the hand of her husband, Dan.

We send our love to Dan, who has been our colleague for decades, and to her brothers, nephews and many, many friends.