KTLA anchors and reporters took to social media to pay tribute to Chris Burrous, a beloved staple of the KTLA 5 Morning News and weekend team.
As news of Burrous’ death broke Thursday night, his KTLA family started sharing pictures and heartfelt messages of his talent and wit.
Burrous was found unresponsive in a Glendale motel Thursday afternoon. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died. His death is being investigated as a possible overdose.
Christina Pascucci had just co-anchored the Early Edition of the KTLA 5 Morning News on Thursday morning. In an Instagram post, the reporter and anchor said, “This morning he was supposed to be sitting next to me.”
“I keep thinking ‘what would Chris do’ in this situation,” Pascucci wrote. “Chris, we will do our best to honor you today and always in every assignment, but nobody does it like you.”
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Yesterday morning we were on air together, laughing. Less than 6 hours later, our colleague and friend was found unresponsive in a motel. His loss has broken our hearts. This morning he was supposed to be sitting next to me. I keep thinking “what would Chris do” in this situation. We all have hilarious memories of him. He could make a jar of jam the most interesting object in the world. He was real. Raw. Honest. And he cared so much about you, the viewer. I know our viewers fiercely loved him back. He taught me so much, he was a master of his craft. Yesterday we were talking about the future, his 9 y/o daughter Isabella, how proud he was of her caring heart. And how he loved his job and wanted to keep anchoring at @ktla5news until it wasn’t fun anymore. Chris, we will do our best to honor you today and always in every assignment, but nobody does it like you. And Mai and Isabella have the entire army of the #KTLA family behind them. Rest In peace, my friend. 💔 And if you have any hilarious Chris stories, please share below. He would want us to be smiling.
Anchor Chris Schauble tweeted that Burrous was a multi-faceted talent. “No one has his amazing range (anchor, weather, traffic, feature and breaking news reporter). Unmatched as a proud husband & father. Right now he’s telling the angels where to find the best food.”
In his tribute, entertainment anchor Sam Rubin said the news of Burrous’ passing is “heartbreaking and horrible.”
” What Chris Burrous did was connect – with all of us, every day, and most especially on the weekends,” Rubin tweeted. “A large community is in mourning tonight.”
Here’s the thing. This is awful. Heartbreaking and horrible. What Chris Burrous did was connect – with all of us, every day, and most especially on the weekends. He deeply loved his wife and his daughter; and all of you who watched him. A large community is in mourning tonight.
Eric Spillman also tweeted that Burrous’ death was “such a shock.” “He was a one-of-a-kind, a real talent,” Spillman wrote about Burrous.
Megan Telles, who only worked with Burrous on the weekend morning news for a few months, said that was enough time to learn from him.
“Still trying to wrap my head around the loss of a colleague who taught me so much in a matter of months,” Telles wrote. “Burrous kept it real, always.”
Kacey Montoya tweeted early Friday, “This is such a huge loss.” “I’ve never had more fun at work than with this man. I am heartbroken that we lost a member of our KTLA family.”
Samantha Cortese, co-anchor of KTLA’s online show 5Live, said that Burrous “Gave me the time of day as a young journalist when we’d be on the same live shots.” “Often unfiltered, quirky, and real. It’s why we loved watching him.” Cortese wrote.
Kirk Hawkins, who had been doing the weather on the KTLA 5 Morning News this week, said Burrous “Was like the mischievous older brother I never had.” “While he might have tried to get me to say or do things on air that could have landed me in trouble with the boss, he was always so supportive and went out of his way to make me feel welcome,” Hawkins wrote.
KTLA tech reporter Rich DeMuro tweeted that he was still processing the “untimely passing” of Burrous. “We shared great conversations and many laughs,” DeMuro wrote. “I always admired his versatility in the newsroom, success in the business and sharp wit. RIP, my friend.”
Reporter Steve Kuzj said that he would encounter people who told him they enjoyed watching Burrous do the news. “Starting their weekend mornings with their friend Chris was the only way to begin the day for so, so many people. #RIPChrisBurrous” Kuzj tweeted.
In a statement Thursday night, KTLA President and General Manager Don Corsini and News Director Jason Ball sent their thoughts and prayers to Burrous’ family, including the broadcasters’ wife and 9-year-old daughter.
“Chris loved sharing the stories of Southern California and connecting with our viewers. He will be remembered as a great family man, journalist, and a wonderful friend to many. He brought a kindness to his work and will be deeply missed by the entire KTLA family,” the statement read.