NMG mourns passing of former guild leaders

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The News Media Guild is sad to report the passing of AP Radio anchor and correspondent David Melendy, 71, and broadcast editor Virginia “Ginny” Byrne, 62 — both Guild leaders. 

Melendy passed away April 18 at George Washington Hospital after a long battle with cancer. Byrne died on April 23 in New York City after also battling lung cancer.

Melendy retired from AP after 33 year of covering Congress, the White House, space launches and much more. He was presented the Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of 9-11. He also served as a member of the News Media Guild’s Executive Committee. 

“I worked with David for decades and more recently collaborated with him at @PressClubDC after he retired. He was supremely intelligent with the utmost integrity and a tireless advocate for press freedom. RIP, my friend,” tweeted Mark Hamrick, Former National Press Club President.

Byrne began working for AP in the early 1980s, where she covered high-profile crime cases such as the shooting of NYPD Officer Steven McDonald and the Central Park Five case. She served in multiple positions for the News Media Guild, including on the Executive Committee.

“Ginny and I started on the AP broadcast desk in New York at about the same time. We shared an instant connection — maybe because of our shared Irish heritage, or maybe because I had some Byrne in me (my grandmother was a Byrne). Ginny, to me, was the quintessential New Yorker, boisterous (ok, maybe loud), outgoing, friendly, ready to grab a pint at the end of any shift,” wrote Paul Reilly, an union rep with the Washington-Baltimore News Guild.