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.
From 2017: Wendy soaking in her zamboni ride
— Heather McDonough (@HeatherMcD4) April 16, 2022
Rieger also supported the Capitals during their run to the 2018 Stanley Cup championship, sharing her secrets to the team’s success.
Wendy Rieger, one of a kind.
Back in 2018, Wendy brought us her 4 Keys to the Cup. And wouldn’t you know, they worked.
— NBC4 Sports (@NBC4Sports) April 16, 2022
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.
RIP Wendy Rieger. Washington DC’s best friend. Wendy was a News4 anchor and reporter, but more importantly, she was that rare broadcaster that you wanted to invite into your home, hang around with and listen to every day. They broke the mold with Wendy, she is truly beloved. https://t.co/CYrb8R9LDk
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) April 17, 2022
We’re saddened by the loss of anchor and reporter Wendy Rieger.
Our thoughts are with her family and friends. pic.twitter.com/bJrtUBL23U
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 16, 2022
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.
— Danny Favret (@Danny_Favret) April 16, 2022
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