The Erie community is mourning the loss of Emily Matson, the cherished face of “Erie News Now,” whose untimely death has been ruled a suicide. The Erie County Coroner’s Office confirmed that the 42-year-old newscaster was fatally struck by a train near her home in Pennsylvania’s Fairview Township early Monday morning, sending waves of grief through the tight-knit community she served for nearly two decades.
Matson’s final broadcast aired on Friday, leaving viewers and colleagues stunned by the abrupt departure of a seasoned journalist who had become synonymous with the 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. news on WICU-TV, the NBC affiliate hosting “Erie News Now.” News director Scott MacDowell expressed the network’s profound loss, acknowledging Matson as a “shining light in our newsroom” who delivered the news with unwavering passion and love for Erie and Northwest Pennsylvania.
Matson’s journey with WICU-TV began at the turn of the millennium when she joined as a morning show producer. Her talent and dedication did not go unnoticed, and within a few years, Matson transitioned from behind-the-scenes to in front of the camera, becoming a beloved fixture in the community. According to Deadline, her rise from producer to anchor was a testament to her journalistic prowess and connection with the audience.
Paul Wagner, a former colleague who worked with Matson until his retirement in 2020, shared memories of her as a “very positive person” who consistently encouraged newcomers. Matson’s warm and welcoming demeanor endeared her to both colleagues and viewers alike, creating a lasting impact on the local news landscape.
The tragic news has left the Erie community grappling with the loss of a familiar face that brought them the day’s events for almost two decades. Matson’s genuine commitment to her work was evident in her on-screen presence, as she navigated through breaking news and heartwarming stories with equal grace.
As the community comes to terms with this devastating loss, plans for a funeral mass at St. Jude R.C. Church in Erie are underway, scheduled for Saturday morning. This solemn occasion will offer friends, family, and viewers a chance to pay their respects and celebrate Matson’s life, remembering her not only as a seasoned journalist but also as a pillar of the community.
Matson is survived by her husband, Ryan Michael Onderko, who now faces the difficult task of carrying on without his life partner. The couple’s life together, filled with shared joys and challenges, is now a cherished memory for those who knew them.
Suicide is a complex and delicate subject, and Matson’s passing serves as a stark reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and support within our communities. The news industry, known for its high-pressure environment, often takes a toll on those working within it. Matson’s tragic end underscores the need for open conversations about mental health, both in the workplace and beyond, to ensure that individuals facing challenges feel supported and heard.
As the Erie community mourns the loss of Emily Matson, the impact of her absence will be felt not only in the newsroom but also in the hearts of those who welcomed her into their homes each evening. Her legacy as a dedicated journalist and compassionate community member will endure, leaving an indelible mark on the region she served so faithfully for nearly two decades.