In a note to staff on Sunday, senior executive producer Michael Corn said she had been “battling serious heart and lung disease for some time. The doctors said she did not have COVID-19.”
“She was tireless in her pursuit of perfection in her pieces which is why she was the first choice of so many of the top talent at ABC over the years,” Corn wrote. “Extraordinarily gifted at this thing we do, she could craft with equal skill epically smart and or heart wrenching and or funny television. That’s no doubt because Thea herself was razor smart and bitingly funny and filled with heart.”
On GMA on Monday, anchor George Stephanopoulos said that Trachtenberg “was a force on this show, a mentor to so many on our staff and a colleague and friend with a biting wit, a skeptical eye and a very big heart.”
He said that he worked with her on all of his big shoots, and she had a sense of fearlessness. He recalled interviewing President Barack Obama in the Oval Office for an exit interview. When Obama told him that they had 30 minutes for the chat, Trachtenberg “jumped in an said, ‘Mr. President, you promised 45.'”
“Her fellow colleagues — they really, really loved her. That’s what we should remember about Thea,” said anchor Robin Roberts.
Stephanopoulos said on Monday’s GMA that he tested positive for coronavirus but has not had any of the symptoms. He has been anchoring from home caring for his wife, Ali Wentworth, who is recovering from the virus.
The show featured a tribute to Trachtenberg on Monday.
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