Emmy award-winning news anchor Denise D’Ascenzo reportedly died over the weekend inside her home in Connecticut, according to her employer.
D’Ascenzo, 61, has been a journalist for television outlet WFSB-TV for more than 33 years, it confirmed.
“Denise died on Saturday, Dec. 7 in her Connecticut home, unexpectedly in her sleep. Her family believes she died of a massive heart attack,” the news outlet wrote. “The grief we are all feeling is immeasurable.”
Her cause of death was not disclosed by the station.
D’Ascenzo won 11 Emmys in her career and most recently anchored the channel’s weekday evening newscasts, according to the Hartford Courant newspaper. She was the longest-serving news anchor at one Connecticut television station.
We are shocked and saddened at the news of our colleague Denise D’Ascenzo passing. Her contributions to local journalism were many and the deep trust she shared with her viewers will be sincerely missed. Our condolences go to her family, friends, and our colleagues at @WFSBnews pic.twitter.com/9ZStyiMGln
— Connecticut Public Radio (@wnpr) December 8, 2019
“In 2013, Denise was elected to the Silver Circle, a prestigious honor bestowed by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for significant contributions to broadcasting. Two years later, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Connecticut Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame,” WSFB also wrote. “Denise’s work has also been honored with two prestigious Edward R. Murrow awards, seven Associated Press awards, and a national Gabriel Award. She has also been recognized for her work with several charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Mary’s Place and the Channel 3 Kids Camp.”
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont issued a statement after her death.
“Through her dedicated work and dependable reporting, she earned the distinction of being a trusted name in journalism and her reporting most certainly made an impact,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement, according to the Courant. “The work journalists provide is a vital public service, and through her career, Denise dedicated herself to the people of Connecticut.”
In a statement, Connecticut Public Radio wrote that it is “saddened” and “shocked” by the development.
“Her contributions to local journalism were many and the deep trust she shared with her viewers will be sincerely missed. Our condolences go to her family, friends, and our colleagues,” it wrote.
Added Western Mass News in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Denise’s family and friends, as well as our colleagues at @WFSBnews.”
She leaves behind her husband and a daughter.
Other details about her death are not clear.