“Washington, D.C.’s Best Friend”: Longtime NBC4 Washington Reporter, Capitals Fan Wendy Rieger Loses Battle With Cancer

Astrid Riecken/The Washington Post

For over 30 years, Wendy Rieger covered news in the Washington, D.C. area for NBC’s Washington affiliate, NBC4. A known Washington Capitals fan, Rieger died Saturday of glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, at the age of 65.

Rieger joined NBC4 in 1988 and continued to cover all topics ranging from politics to sports to cultural events up until her retirement. Originally diagnosed with a brain tumor in May of 2021 and subsequently undergoing surgery to have it removed and begin treatment, she retired from NBC4 in December of the same year, after 33 years with the station, and over 40 years as a journalist in the area.

A known Washington Capitals fan, tributes to Rieger flooded social media, with NBC Washington’s sports department sharing memories of Rieger showing her support for the Caps, including a ride around the Capital One Arena ice on a zamboni in 2017.

Rieger also supported the Capitals during their run to the 2018 Stanley Cup championship, sharing her secrets to the team’s success.

A Norfolk, Virginia native, Rieger was beloved by the Washington community and tributes poured in from all over the DMV, from Washington Mayor, Muriel Bowser, her colleagues at NBC4, who in a statement called her, “smart, vibrant, and wonderful”, as well as Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals, NFL’s Washington Commanders, and Capitals Majority Owner Ted Leonsis, who called her “Washington, DC’s Best Friend” and praising Rieger for her dedication to journalism and personality.

In 2016, after the Capitals traded longtime forward Brooks Laich, he sent a goodbye video to Rieger and her colleague Doreen Gentzler, who were reportedly in tears when he was dealt.

NoVa Caps sends our deepest condolences to Wendy’s family, friends, and colleagues, and give a few stick taps to her years supporting and embracing our beloved Capitals. Just as much as the Capitals have been a DMV stalwart, so too was Wendy Rieger, who passed away just shy of her 66th birthday. May she rest in peace.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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2 Responses to “Washington, D.C.’s Best Friend”: Longtime NBC4 Washington Reporter, Capitals Fan Wendy Rieger Loses Battle With Cancer

  1. Anonymous says:

    A total shock.

  2. DC Scappeli says:

    She was a good person and friendly. I had a run in with her once at a restaurant bar when she was waiting for a friend, I just said hello and she was nice enough to humor my drunken greetings, as I stayed milling around with some co-workers long after happy hour was over. But everyone was respectful, including me, and gave her some space and privacy.

    I enjoyed her humor whenever I saw her on the news, she seemed like a fun person and someone you’d like to know and have as a friend. RIP Wendy….

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