Thea Trachtenberg, a producer for Good Morning America, died early Sunday morning, ABC News reports. Trachtenberg worked on Good Morning America for 20 years, and she was anchor George Stephanopoulos’ main producer.
Trachtenberg, who had fought cancer twice, was “battling serious heart and lung disease for some time,” according to a staff note from senior executive producer Michael Corn, Page Six reports. It is not believed Trachtenberg tested positive for COVID-19.
Her cause of death has not been officially confirmed. Trachtenberg was 51 years old.
Trachtenberg Produced Many Major Interviews During Her 20 Year Career With Good Morning America
During the Good Morning America broadcast on Monday, Stephanopoulos said Trachtenberg “was a force on this show. A mentor to so many on our staff and a colleague and friend with a biting wit, skeptical eye and a very big heart.”
Stephanopoulos said Trachtenberg produced many major interviews with top government officials, including presidents and prime ministers, as well as stars of Broadway, The Muppets, and Mark Hamill.
The interview she loved the most was with U2’s Bono, as she was a big fan. According to Stephanopoulos, Trachtenberg would come up to him every week asking when they would have Bono back on the show.
Below is Good Morning America‘s tribute to Trachtenberg:
Trachtenberg’s Colleagues Shared Their Love & Thoughts About Her Passing
During the Monday morning Good Morning America broadcast, anchor Robin Roberts said, “She was a mentor to so many on our staff.”
An emotional Roberts continued, “Her fellow colleagues really, really loved her. That’s what we should remember about Thea. Boy, she a big heart.” She also reminded her co-anchors that Trachtenberg was a great poet.
Roberts posted on Instagram after her morning broadcast:
In her post, she said, “Thea was extraordinary & one of the many talented ppl behind the scenes you at home are rarely blessed to see. 20 years at GMA is no small feat and as a former colleague appropriately said: ‘Thea is part of the bedrock of GMA.’”
Another producer, Daisha Riley, said, “Thea set the bar when it came to producing. … I learned how to write for [Good Morning America] watching Thea … and when my boss asked me where I want to see my career I would say … I want to be Thea.”
A few months ago, the Good Morning America team celebrated Trachtenberg’s 20th anniversary with the show. During the celebration, former anchor Charlie Gibson said, “Thea is part of the bedrock of GMA. She, I am sure, will tell you she has been fortunate to work at a place like Good Morning America. But the program has been just as fortunate, if not more so, to have her.”