Details on WDBJ, 2 slain journalists
A few details on WDBJ and the two TV journalists who were slain Wednesday morning as they reported a news story:
— An estimated 40,000 viewers were tuned to WDBJ when the on-air shootings took place.
— WDBJ serves the southwest and central part of Virginia. It is one of several stations in the Roanoke-Lynchburg media market, ranked the nation’s 67th largest, reaching about 450,000 households. A CBS affiliate, the station first signed on in 1955. Its website displays about two dozen on-air personnel in its news department. In all, the station employs about 50 people.
—WDBJ is owned by the privately held Schurz Communications of South Bend, Indiana, whose properties include nine other TV stations as well as 13 radio stations, four cable systems and 19 newspapers.
— Correspondent Alison Parker, 24, reported for WDBJ’s “Mornin’” show. Before joining as a staffer in 2014, she had worked there as an intern. She grew up near Martinsville, about 50 miles south of Roanoke, and graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg in 2012. Parker also worked for New Bern, North Carolina, station WCTI NewsChannel 12. She was in a relationship with anchor Chris Hurst.
— In a video portrait of herself re-aired on Wednesday, Parker listed a favorite pastime as white-water kayaking, said her favorite food was spicy Mexican cuisine and, as a TV viewer, admitted to a taste for anti-heroes: Walter White on “Breaking Bad,” Don Draper on “Mad Men” and Francis Underwood on “House of Cards.”
— Photographer Adam Ward, 27, was born in Salem, Virginia, according to his Facebook page. He was a graduate of Virginia Tech. He was engaged to Melissa Ott, a producer at the station who reportedly was in the station’s control room at the time of the shootings.