Longtime CNN Graphics Operator Melissa Elkas Dies

By A.J. Katz 

Sad news coming out of CNN this week: Melissa Elkas, a longtime graphics operator at the network, died on Wednesday after experiencing a medical emergency.

She was just 52 years old.

Elkas had worked at CNN for 26 years, most recently in the New York bureau. She worked on numerous CNN shows and specials, including but not limited to CNN Heroes, and the network’s election night coverage. She started out her CNN career in Atlanta before relocating to New York.


On Friday’s edition of CNN This Morning, co-anchor Poppy Harlow reflected on Elkas’ passing.

“Those banners that you see at the bottom of your screen? That was all her. The full-screen graphics you see throughout the broadcast — that was all Melissa,” said Harlow. “She was dedicated to putting on the best show and by all accounts, she consistently delivered. But even more than that, she was just one of the best people we knew. She was smart and loving, so funny. She was a huge animal lover, especially of her cats. And boy, were they lucky to have her. Her family lovingly called her, ‘Missy.’ And we will deeply miss her.”

Anderson Cooper paid tribute to Elkas on Wednesday’s edition of AC360.

“To say that she was a vital part of CNN would be an understatement. Melissa could do it all,” Cooper said. “Melissa was really good at her job, but she was also a really, really good human being. She was kind, loving, she was a mentor always willing to help others, and she knew how to make other people feel good.”

Cooper added, “Thank you Melissa for your laugh and for your creativity and for your kindness.”