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WDEF-TV anchor John Mercer

This story was updated at 3:48 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, with more information.

WDEF-TV 12 anchor John Mercer died Tuesday night at Erlanger after fighting a "heart-related condition" for about six days.

Mercer came to the station in 2003.

News Director Dutch Terry said Mercer was a mentor as well as a newsman who knew "what being a journalist was all about." That extended even to the point of canceling vacation to cover the current COVID-19 pandemic, Terry said.

"John was an amazing leader in the newsroom," Terry said. "He was well loved and a mentor to 17 years worth of young journalists who came through this building. He knew instinctively how to react in a crisis. He understood what it meant to be a journalist.

"He was an amazing co-worker, an amazing teacher and a good friend."

Friend and co-worker Chip Chapman said, "John was exceptional in the broadcasting field in that there was no story, no issue that he was afraid of tackling."

"He brought out the old-school style of journalism and translated it into ways that we accept today. John was a good guy to have in your corner at the station and out in the field. [He was] a true credit to the profession, and it paid off in his work."

A short tribute to Mercer appeared on the station's website Wednesday reading:

"The News 12 family is deeply saddened to share the loss of one of our own. Our friend and colleague, John Mercer passed away late last night.

"His family would like to share that John has passed away from a heart-related condition, not related in any way to the coronavirus. John fought hard for six days. His daughters [Delaney and Madison] want him remembered as the best father ever, but they know he is at peace and happy to see his mom, dad, and sister again.

"Arrangements are pending. If you are so inclined, John's family requests donations in John's name to the American Heart Association.

"Please respect the family's wishes for privacy at this time.

"From the News 12 family, we will dearly miss John, his humor, his professionalism, his love for his family, and his strength in crisis."

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com

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