HACKENSACK, N.J. — Thomas McEneny, a veteran CBS News editor, died Sunday of a heart attack while finishing his first “60 Minutes” assignment — that evening’s report on cycling star Lance Armstrong. He was 57.
The New York native joined CBS News in its message center in 1976. He rose to editor for the “CBS Evening News” and also worked on segments for “Sunday Morning” and “48 Hours.” He won a 2006 Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.
Earlier this year, McEneny got the call to join “60 Minutes.” It had been his dream to work for the long-running news magazine, anchor Chris Wragge said Monday in a CBS News video.
McEneny “was working until the last minute” Sunday, his son Brian said, and had chest pains while completing editing of the segment in which a former teammate claimed Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs. McEneny took himself to a Manhattan hospital and was transferred to another hospital. He died of a massive heart attack, his son said.
“It was a lot of work he was putting in and he was staying in the city because it was (his) first assignment for ‘60 Minutes,’ “ Brian McEneny said. “He was very proud of having achieved that goal.
“It’s a deadline-driven business and he’d been in that situation multiple times,” the son added. “He did it every day and dealt with the stress well. It’s a devastating thing that happened. But it was his choice to work as hard as he did and push himself to be great. The timing was just an unfortunate coincidence.”
“60 Minutes” announced McEneny’s death on its Facebook page.
McEneny, a 28-year resident of Ringwood, N.J., was active in youth basketball and a member of Bowling Green Golf Club in Oak Ridge, N.J.
He is survived by his wife, Susan; sons Thomas of Philadelphia and Brian of Wall Township, N.J.; and a brother, Timothy, of St. Lucie West, Fla.