NBC New York reporter Katherine Creag, who was a familiar face to those who turned to Channel 4 for local news, died suddenly Wednesday, according to the station.
Creag, 47, started at WNBC in 2011 and covered a variety of topics.
She was not ill and had worked as recently as Wednesday morning, the station reported. No other details were shared.
"Instantly recognizable for her distinctive voice and hearty laugh, Creag was the first face many New Yorkers woke up to every day," NBC New York said.
Known as Kat to her co-hosts and viewers, Creag spent five years at Fox before joining NBC. The New York University graduate won or shared in winning multiple Emmy, AP and Murrow awards.
"For 10 years Kat was one of our cornerstones, always willing to help in any situation, whether it was a colleague in need or a shift that needed to be covered. She was thoughtful, funny and relentless," WNBC's vice president of news, Amy Morris, said in an email to the staff. "And even on the toughest days she was a bright light, quick with a kind word and a smile."
Eric Lerner, President and General Manager of NBC 4 New York, said Thursday was "a very difficult day for our station."
"Kat Creag was a beloved member of the WNBC news team and a great friend to so many. She loved her viewers and the city she so ably served. We are heartbroken and will miss her. Our thoughts are with her family at this time," Lerner said.
A native of Manila, Philippines, Creag had a passion for Filipino food and was the first to alert colleagues to a new spot to try, NBC New York reported.
The station said she will be remembered for her endless energy, even when reporting to work while it was still dark, and her generous support of multiple charities.
Creag is survived by a son, two daughters and her husband of 14 years, Bill Gafner.
Tributes from journalists who knew Creag and viewers who felt as if they knew her flooded social media Thursday, many mentioning Creag's kindness and spirit.
"This is just heartbreaking news. Whenever I had to work the morning shift and ran into Katherine, I knew it was going to be a good day. She was so warm and always smiling, even at 3:00 a.m.," NY1 reporter Michael Scotto wrote on Twitter.
Katie Honan, a City Hall reporter at The Wall Street Journal, wrote, "Kat made everything better and more beautiful just by being there. Energetic, thoughtful, caring, fun. A great reporter, friend, and wonderful wife and mom. Please think of her family and colleagues today."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Chuck Schumer also expressed their sympathies.
"Katherine Creag was dedicated to connecting with New Yorkers and sharing their stories. She worked tirelessly for our city. @NYCFirstLady and I send our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the @NBCNewYork community," de Blasio wrote on Twitter.
"My heartfelt condolences to the @NBCNewYork team and the family and friends of reporter Katherine Creag," Schumer wrote. "Kat was a beloved and hard-working NYC reporter with an infectious laugh. She will be greatly missed."