Tuned In Journal
This is a tough one. Not just because I respect and like
KDKA-TV consumer reporter Yvonne Zanos and her work but also because of the
outpouring of genuine love, friendship and admiration from her colleagues.
Hearing them talk about her in such glowing terms is heartbreaking.
Having spoken to Zanos, pictured at left with Achieva CEO Marsha Blanco, just last week, I could attest that her enthusiasm and grateful nature did not flag.
"I work for the best company in the whole world," she said in our phone conversation. "They have been so good to me.
"I have a wonderful family, everybody is close to me," she said, noting a raft of visitors to her home before the holidays. "But I'll be glad to get back to work so I can get some rest."
Writing an obituary is a challenge because there's always a profound sense of importance to it for the sake of the family of the deceased. That feeling of responsibility is only heightened when the obit writer knows the deceased and the people who love him or her.
I think Zanos' death will also be difficult for Pittsburghers. After all, she appeared in reports on the air just last week. I don't think many viewers noticed she'd gotten noticeably thinner in recent months. I get calls about the appearance of TV folks all the time - this week's favorite: "Why is Wendy Bell wearing glasses?" - and no one ever called or e-mailed to ask about Yvonne. She was up front about her cancer diagnosis and we had reported on how she was faring several times, but there she was on TV last week, making it easy to assume she was just fine.
Her passing also hits Pittsburgh TV viewers hard because she wasn't just a TV personality; she was a TV newsperson with the most relatable personality you could imagine. She was one of us. And I have no doubt she will be missed terribly.