ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – WDBJ7 General Manager, Jeff Marks, surrounded by WDBJ7 newsroom and station staff, addressed the media Thursday.
As other local and national media began to uncover the past of former WDBJ7 reporter Vester Flanagan, question arose regarding his employment and subsequent firing from the news organization. Marks explained what he could, but noted focus should now be on Flanagan’s victims.
We are still at a loss to figure out what happened to him during those 2.5 years. But most of our time, we are spending focused on the results of his actions yesterday. The loss of Adam and Alison – and our bond of with the community which has been strong the last 30 hours or so with everyone from the community that we can imagine. Shaking our hand and reaching out to us and us reaching back through our media through WDBJ7 and our web and mobile outlets to make sure that we continue to serve the public as is our mission.”
WDBJ7 News Director Kelly Zuber also addressed the large group of journalist who made the WDBJ7 studios parking lot their offices within the 24 hours after the shooting happened. She made clear her devotion to the staff with which she works so closely.
The performance of this staff has been incredible. They cry, they hug and then they get the job done. That’s all I can ask of them right now….I think these journalists will rise above this.’
A reporter asked Marks how the station and its people would move forward after the tragedy. He pointed out anything less than professional journalism would dishonor the memories of their fallen colleagues.
We march together putting one foot in front of the other. Mourning our loss. Never forgetting Alison and Adam and realizing that they died in the performance of their duty and we’re not going to short that duty.’
This is the day after and tomorrow’s the day after the day after. It’s just going to take time for us to heal and for all of us in the Roanoke area and to deal with this. I just want for the moment to remember them with fondness and appreciation for the people they were and what they meant to our news organization.