Maria Mercader CBS News reporter coronavirus death: A veteran NY journalist/producer dies from COVID-19 on Sunday after battling cancer and other related illnesses.
She was 54.
The Manhattan native, who covered breaking news for CBS since joining the network in 1987, had been on medical leave for an unrelated matter when she was infected by the novel coronavirus, the network reports.
Dan Rather called the loss a ‘hard hit to the heart.’
‘A paragon of grit and grace, she embodied the best of the @CBSNews mission. Millions of Americans learned of the world through her efforts. Now our world is less with her loss,’ he tweeted.
‘Even more than her talents as a journalist, we will miss her indomitable spirit,’ Zirinsky said. ‘Maria was part of all of our lives.’
The network’s senior vice president of talent, Laurie Orlando, also called her ‘a friend to all.’
‘It’s nearly impossible to be someone EVERYONE loves, but Maria was,’ Orlando posted. ‘She always had a warm hug, a word of advice or support and a big smile for everyone in her life. She was a bright light and will be sorely missed.’
Unclear was to what degree the news journalist/producer’s susceptibility to COVID-19 ha been exacerbated by her recurring struggles with other health woes.
30 year plus veteran produced feature reports during tenure:
Mercader, who lived in Manhattan, had attended the all-girls Dominican Academy in Manhattan before graduating from the College of New Rochelle in 1987. It was in the same year Mercader got her start at the network as a paige.
Mercader who went on to work for the network for over 30 years went on to produce many of her era’s biggest news stories, including the death of Princess Diana and the 9/11 terror attacks, CBS said.
She won a Business Emmy in 2004 for her work on a ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ report on computer spam.
‘Maria was one of the bravest, funniest, and most supportive colleagues most of us have ever known,’ said Al Ortiz, the network’s vice-president of standards and practices .
Mercader is survived by her father and brother — both of whom are named Manuel, CBS said.