Longtime NBC4 Washington anchor Wendy Rieger dies of cancer at 65

Longtime NBC4 Washington anchor Wendy Reiger, who retired last year, died Saturday at age 65 after battling breast cancer.

NBC4’s website reported that Reiger passed while holding the hand of her husband Dan, whom she married in 2021. She had brain surgery in July 2021 to remove a glioblastoma and was treated at Johns Hopkins, but the tumor rapidly regrew and she entered hospice a few weeks ago.

She retired in December, hoping to start a new chapter. Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser named Dec. 17, 2021, Wendy Rieger Day in her honor.


“Wendy delivered the news honestly–with humor, heart & expertise and she will be missed dearly,” Bowser tweeted Saturday upon hearing of Reiger’s passing.

Reiger started in 1988 at NBC4 as a reporter and began anchoring evening newscasts in 1996. She worked as a journalist for more than four decades.

Reiger was known for covering hurricanes, famously touting the value of “waterproof mascara.” She also traveled to New Zealand for three weeks to cover a long-distance custody battle and covered the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

She was an ally of the LGBT community and supported gay rights causes, WTOP said.

Colleagues share memories

NBC Washington colleague Aimee Cho called Rieger one of the “kindest, strongest, funniest” and most caring people she knew upon learning Reiger went into hospice on Friday.

Fellow DC anchor and longtime friend Doreen Gentzler said, “She was always authentically Wendy, and I’m grateful I knew her as a friend and a colleague for more than 3 decades.”

Radio personality and NBC4 correspondent Tommy McFly wrote that “there will never ever ever ever ever be another Wendy RIEGER. Rest well my sweet friend.”

PBS News weekend anchor Geoff Bennett tweeted that Rieger “was synonymous with joy. It was impossible to be around her and not smile. She was a larger-than-life D.C. legend who meant so much to so many.”

Latest News