ABC 7 offers grief support to staffers

Anne Swaney

Anne Swaney

Grief management professionals will be on hand at WLS-Channel 7 Tuesday and Wednesday to help employees cope with the sudden loss of their colleague, Anne Swaney, who was executive producer of online operations at the ABC-owned station.

Swaney, 39, was found murdered last week in Belize near the resort where she was vacationing. Police were continuing to search the area where her body was found.

Back home colleagues are mourning the loss of their friend and co-worker, who joined ABC 7 in 1999 after graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Swaney was considered a leader and a conscience of the newsroom.

“We have all been impacted greatly by Anne’s passing, and we all have different ways to mourn the loss of people we loved,” John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7, told employees in a letter announcing a series of meetings for grief education and support.

“During these sessions, grief management professionals will help provide guidance to help us all cope with the passing of such a wonderful and remarkable colleague,” Idler wrote. “In the coming days we will be discussing and communicating ways in which we can honor and pay tribute to Anne in a way befitting her life and legacy.”

ABC 7 has dispatched chief investigative reporter Chuck Goudie to Belize to follow up on the police investigation of Swaney’s murder.

Swaney, who grew up in Platte City, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City, is survived by her mother, Georgeanne Tatman Swaney, her father, Jack Williams Swaney, and a brother, David Robbins Swaney. Another brother, John Tatman Swaney, preceded her in death.

Private family graveside service will follow a visitation from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Rollins Funeral Home, 1106 Branch Street, Platte City. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Northland Therapeutic Riding Center, P.O. Box 1267, Kearney, Missouri 64060, or Changing Leads Equine Rescue, P.O. Box 901343, Kansas City, Missouri 64190.