ATLANTA (AP) — Veteran Atlanta television news anchor Amanda Davis, whose achievements included launching a segment encouraging foster children adoptions and an in-depth series about her alcoholism, has died. She was 62.
Davis, morning news anchor at CBS affiliate WGCL-TV, died Wednesday, a day after suffering a stroke while waiting for a flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to the station, known locally as CBS46. She was preparing to fly to San Antonio, Texas, to attend the funeral of a family member, CBS46 News Director Steve Doerr said.
“She was a real leader, a pro and a mentor,” Doerr said Thursday. “If you have an idea and you want to know whether it’s a good one or a bad one, you go to Amanda. I’ll miss that leadership.”
He said her colleagues were still struggling to deal with the news on Thursday.
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“There are a lot of tears, a lot of hugs,” he said. “It’s a very quiet room today.”
Her death drew reaction from national organizations such as the National Association of Black Journalists, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, filmmaker Tyler Perry and some of the city’s most prominent leaders.
“Saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Atlanta news icon, Amanda Davis,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed tweeted Wednesday night.
The city’s mayor-elect, Keisha Lance Bottoms, also tweeted her condolences: “Such a beautiful person, inside & out.”
Davis’ family is “asking for privacy at this difficult time,” the station reported.
Davis had been a presence on Atlanta TV news for more than 25 years.
Her numerous awards over the years included the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists Pioneer of the Year Award; and 10 Southeast Regional Emmy Awards, her station said.
She worked at WAGA-TV for 26 years starting in 1986, when it was a CBS affiliate. It later became a Fox affiliate.
At CBS46, Davis helped launch “Good Day Atlanta” as a host in 1992 before going to evenings, and a regular segment called Wednesday’s Child, which highlights foster children to be adopted each week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“Amanda had a passion for doing the right thing for people who needed help. That was her franchise — trying to help people who needed a little bit of help,” Doerr told The Associated Press.
In recent years, she had talked publicly about her struggles with alcohol and depression after her third arrest on DUI charges, and did an in-depth series about her alcoholism in 2016.
This story has been edited to delete the reference to Davis’ stepfather. It’s uncertain which family member’s funeral she had planned to attend.
Information from: WGCL-TV, http://www.cbs46.com