The Latest: Station live for morning broadcast after deaths

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The latest on the on-air killing of two TV station employees in Virginia (all times local):

5:45 a.m.

A grief counselor has joined the WDBJ-TV newscasters at the anchor desk for a morning-show segment the day after two station employees were killed in a shooting during a live broadcast.

Anchor Kim McBroom, her voice faltering at times during the Thursday newscast, called it "a show like no other." She was on the air Wednesday morning just after reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were fatally shot during a live interview.

McGroom asked the grief counselor: "As a community, how do we take steps to move forward after something like this?"

Counselor Thomas Milam said it's important to respect that people grieve in different ways and give them space to do so. He also said it's important to comfort children who may have seen coverage or had their schools on lock down.


5:40 a.m.

During a live morning broadcast on WDBJ-TV, an anchor has read a statement from the father of the reporter killed on air just a day earlier.

Anchor Kim McBroom read the statement Thursday during the Virginia station's "Mornin'" show. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward worked as a team for the show, and it was during a live segment Wednesday morning that they were fatally shot by a former WDBJ reporter.

The statement from Andy Parker says: "Our vivacious, ambitious, smart, engaging, hilarious, beautiful and immensely talented Alison was taken from the world. This is senseless, and our family is crushed."

The station displayed the text of the statement as McBroom read it.


5:20 a.m.

WDBJ-TV is broadcasting live for its morning show a day after two of its employees were killed by a former reporter at the Virginia station.

During the newscast, in a weather report, Leo Hirsbrunner recalled how one of the victims, cameraman Adam Ward, would check in with him every morning about the weather before he went out on assignment.

Hirsbrunner said: "I don't even know how to do weather on a day like this." His voice trembled at times while he finished giving the temperatures around the Roanoke area.

As the segment ended, anchor Kim McBroom told him: "Good job, partner. We're going to get through this together."

McBroom also read a statement from Parker's family, her voice faltering as well.


5:10 a.m.

WDBJ-TV started its 5 a.m. newscast with an image of the two victims killed a day earlier in an on-air shooting with the words "In Memory."

Anchor Kim McBroom said on Thursday morning, "We come to you with heavy hearts. Two of our own were shot during a live shot yesterday morning." She noted the outpouring of support that followed the deaths.

"We've had a lot of help," she added, before introducing Steve Grant, an anchor from a Missouri station who came to town to help.

The station then went into a series of news pieces on the shooting, including ones about the criminal investigation, church services and a vigil at the White House.


4:55 a.m.

The news team at WDBJ-TV is regrouping for its first morning newscast a day after two of their own were killed.

Morning anchor Kim McBroom briefly fought through tears as she prepared for the 5 a.m. newscast Thursday. She was on the air Wednesday when reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were fatally shot during a live interview.

On Thursday, McBroom was then joined on air by Steve Grant from sister station KYTV in Springfield, Missouri. While a few hugs were exchanged before the newscast, a dozen or so reporters and producers stayed focused on their work.

Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Marcia Burdick of parent-company Schurz Communications answered phones, greeted guests at the door, and did whatever she could to keep the newsroom moving.