Veteran CBS News Colorado ReporterRick SallingerDies at 74

Renowned journalist Rick Sallinger, a 30-year veteran of CBS News Colorado, passed away at 74 due to natural causes. Sallinger covered significant stories, including the Columbine massacre and Oklahoma City bombing trials, leaving a lasting impact on the industry.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Veteran CBS News Colorado ReporterRick SallingerDies at 74

Veteran CBS News Colorado ReporterRick SallingerDies at 74

Rick Sallinger, a renowned journalist and veteran reporter for CBS News Colorado, passed away on Wednesday evening in the Denver area at the age of 74. His death was attributed tonatural causes.

Why this matters: The loss of experienced journalists like Rick Sallinger can have a significant impact on the quality of reporting and the ability to hold those in power accountable. His legacy serves as a reminder of the importance of afree press in a democratic society.

Throughout his illustrious 30-year career at KCNC-4, Sallinger covered some of the most significant stories in recent American history, including the Columbine High School massacre, the JonBenet Ramsey murder case, and the Oklahoma City bombing trials. His dedication to journalism and ability to report on high-profile cases left a lasting impact on the industry.

Sallinger began his career in radio, working as a Program Director/Music Director and newscaster/reporter for WPGU-FM, a student-run radio station, from 1967-1991. His early career roles included reporting jobs at WERE Radio in Cleveland, WMAQ-AM & WNIS-FM in Chicago, and WRTV-6 in Indianapolis. In 1990, he worked in London for CNN before returning to Denver in 1993, where he became known for his reports on network newscasts.

Sallinger's family shared their heartfelt message on X (formerly Twitter): "We are heartbroken. For 30 years he was a devoted journalist in Denver. He loved every second of it. He was the best father to his two sons and a loving husband to his wife of 30 years. We love you endlessly."

In an April 2022 interview with The Daily Illini, Sallinger credited his time at WPGU for preparing him for his career, stating, "No question about WPGU prepared me best for my career. I learned as much if not more from WPGU than I did taking my classes."

Sallinger retired on December 7, 2023, and spoke to the Denver Post's John Wenzel about the overwhelming response he received: "It's been overwhelming, the amount of calls texts, emails, and posts that I've gotten since I announced it. ... What I learned, to be honest, is that some people have a higher opinion and respect for me than I give myself."

Known for his no-nonsense approach to reporting, Sallinger often sought answers and accountability while the camera was rolling. KCNC shared a video tribute to Sallinger on Thursday afternoon, honoring his legacy and contributions to journalism in Denver and beyond.