WREX Pays Tribute to Anchor Jeannie Hayes After Her Sudden Death

By Merrill Knox 

WREX is looking back at the life of Jeannie Hayes, the 29-year-old anchor who died suddenly from complications of leukemia last week (video above).

Hayes, the station’s noon anchor, joined the Rockford NBC affiliate in 2005. WREX devoted the majority of its 5 p.m. newscast on Friday to Hayes’ life and memory. “The mood here in the newsroom is very different,” Katie Nilsson said tearfully. “We’re missing something, someone.”


“One of the last thing Jeannie said is she wanted work to know that she couldn’t make it, because even though she was so sick that she couldn’t get up,” Rebecca Klopf said. “She wanted to be here. It was so important for her to be here, to do this job every day.”