Former WTVJ anchor Joel Connable passed away yesterday in Seattle. It was a seizure related to his diabetes, he carried an insulin pump with him. A post on his Facebook wall on behalf of his father states his insulin pump malfunctioned – the lead line was disconnected and he didn’t realize it!
I’m at a loss for words. I didn’t know him personally but we emailed back and forth occasionally and I talked to him just a few days ago. He was so upbeat about his new gig at KOMO and getting the opportunity to live in Seattle with his lovely bride to be who meant the world to him, and with his dog Lola.
With him moving to the other side of the continent I asked about his lawsuit with NBC and he assured me he’s going to fight it until the end. A few months ago we had exchanged emails he told me NBC was dragging the lawsuit trying to force him to reveal his income just to slow things down, in his opinion. So I wondered if he wouldn’t be better off settling and putting the whole ordeal behind him but he confided that he declined NBC’s settlement offers because other people who’ve been wronged by the network and WTVJ wouldn’t get justice so he wanted to go all the way not for himself but for the others who couldn’t!
And this is the kind of guy I saw him to be even with the limited contact I had with him over email. Down to earth, nice, you wouldn’t even know he worked in the TV biz. He cared a great deal about people. He cared deeply about WTVJ staffers who he felt weren’t given the opportunity to excel at their jobs. He cared if they were not treated fairly by management. Not something you see often in the TV news business where today’s intern is your replacement tomorrow at less than 1/3 of your salary.
And he was just 39 years old. Too soon.