31 July 2007

Fired NBC Producer Falls to His Death in the Village

45-year-old Eric Wishnie had been a producer at NBC News, but was either fired or forced to resign from NBC after his bosses found out he was addicted to alcohol and pain killers.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams dedicated last night's show to Wishnie whose 10-year marriage to "Dateline" correspondent Dawn Fratangelo was in shambles- you may also remember Dawn from anchoring the 6 o'clock news back in the 90's on Channel 4.

"Eric Wishnie died way too young," Williams told viewers, calling him an "enormously talented producer and kind and good-hearted soul."

more after the jump...
The News reports a couple in a taxi heading north on Sixth Ave. called 911 about 3 a.m. when they heard a loud boom and saw Wishnie's body on the ground, a police source said.

Wishnie landed face up on the avenue about 30 feet north of W.10th St., the source said. He was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said they were looking into whether he fell or jumped from the three-story building at 444 Sixth Ave. Foul play was not suspected. Inside his apartment, cops found a dozen vodka bottles, a multitude of empty pill bottles and mail that hadn't been opened for months.

An employee at a nearby wine shop said Wishnie had been a regular customer until about a month ago, when he told the newsman he would no longer sell him alcohol.

"He looked really weak like he was giving up on everything," the store employee said. "I told him he looked terrible. He said, 'Thanks for your concern.'"

Frank Antias, a manager at the nearby restaurant French Press, said Wishnie came to the bar the day he lost his job.

"He wasn't upset, but he kept saying, 'I got fired,'" Antias said. He said Wishnie then drank for two hours.

Wishnie, who previously worked for the network news program under Tom Brokaw, was awarded the Edward R. Murrow Award for producing a 2000 broadcast the day after the disputed presidential election.

NBC President Steve Capus sent an e-mail message to employees informing them that Wishnie was "killed in an accident."

Wishnie leaves behind a fox terrier named Lincoln.

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