Veteran WCBS reporter dies of heart attack only hours after filing last report


A veteran local television reporter in New York died of a heart attack only hours after his final newscast.

John Slattery, 63, won four Emmys during his 35-year career in the city, mostly with WCBS-TV. His final report Wednesday was about a 72-year-old good Samaritan who stopped a mugging attempt in the Bronx.

Slattery's wife was sitting next to him as he died, according to WCBS, which announced his passing in a Thursday statement.

"He personified excellence in television journalism for more than three decades. With his steady and straightforward delivery, our John Slattery brought us momentous stories.

Slattery is a reporter many in the tri-state area grew up watching, his familiar voice reminding them of the time he interviewed 1980's subway vigilante Bernie Goetz, or stood at Ground Zero during the 9/11 attacks detailing the Twin Towers' demise.

"He was plainspoken," said the station. "He was unflappable."

He also was on the Emmy-award winning team that covered the John Lennon assassination for rival WABC in 1980 before jumping ship to WCBS a few years later.

Slattery was one of the longest-tenured reporters in the city, and covered everything from fires to ticker tape parades with his familiar voice taking viewers on short journeys.

The news devastated his colleagues across the city

"We are saddened by the unexpected passing of our friend and colleague John Slattery," said Peter Dunn, President of CBS Television Stations. "During his nearly 30-year career at WCBS, he was great at reporting the news and was someone we counted on to cover big stories for us, both here in New York and around the world."

WCBS reporter Lou Young called it "a grey day."

WCBS anchor Chris Wragge called Slattery "the gold standard."

WABC reporter Marcus Solis also offered his condolences.

Wragge and co-anchor Mari Calvi fought back tears while announcing his passing on-air during the noon newscast on the station.

"Our hearts are breaking," said Calvi.

Many viewers also offered their thoughts and prayers on social media.

Slattery will be missed.

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