‘This Week’ leader Dax Tejera, who died at 37, remembered as a champion of journalism and people

Robert Hundley

In Oct, Dax Tejera was at the property of Dr. Anthony Fauci as ABC “This 7 days” co-anchor Jonathan Karl ready to interview the White House’s chief health-related adviser on the eve of his retirement from general public support.

It was the most up-to-date of quite a few newsmaker interviews Tejera experienced supervised in his yrs as a Tv set producer, like at the helm of “This Week.”

He arrived early that working day to Fauci’s house, checking in, approving digital camera setups, earning phone calls.

One particular tiny depth did not escape his interest: As prep for the job interview, Tejera experienced wished the “This 7 days” workforce to observe down a Fauci bobblehead to perhaps use for the duration of inquiries about Fauci’s unexpected fame the previous handful of a long time. Once the interview wrapped, “Dax questioned me for the Fauci bobblehead so he could have Dr. Fauci indicator it. He instructed me he would give it to his two daughters so they could have a part of historical past,” Lauren Lantry, a section producer on “This 7 days,” recalled.

“That was Dax — thinking creatively, building guaranteed his staff experienced what they required, working about the clock, and constantly considering about his family members,” Lantry explained.

Tejera died on Dec. 23 from a heart attack, leaving powering a wife, Veronica, and daughters Sofia and Ella. He was 37.

“Dax’s strength, passion and adore for that exhibit, ABC Information, and you, shined each Sunday morning. That same appreciate was extended to his treasured ladies,” ABC Information President Kim Godwin said in a be aware to team.

PHOTO: Dax Tejera with wife Veronica and daughters Sofia and Ella

Dax Tejera with spouse Veronica and daughters Sofia and Ella

Stephanie Honikel

A Miami indigenous and Dartmouth College alum — in which a fateful discussion with previous NBC correspondent Bob Hager place him on the route to Tv set journalism when he had been contemplating starting to be a banker — Tejera joined ABC Information in 2017 immediately after stints at MSNBC and Fusion, exactly where he was the government producer of “America with Jorge Ramos.”

He took over at “This 7 days” soon just before the onset of COVID-19. Storytelling, he stated final yr, was exactly where the display thrived. Considering the fact that he was named government producer, “This 7 days” has been the No. 1 Sunday demonstrate.

“When we converse to the voter, when we investigate troubles, when we go into the industry, we go out into the state and ideal now we have the house to do that,” Tejera advised Adweek in 2021. “You can find a link that the audience is validating,” he extra.

As deeply as Tejera cared about his do the job, good friends and colleagues say, he cared just as deeply for the individuals all over him.

Under, the “This 7 days” workforce remembers Tejera.

Pushing for excellence

“Dax led our staff with a passion that was unparalleled, setting an extremely high bar that pushed us all to be superior,” claimed Kendall Heath, a senior producer at “This 7 days.”

“He championed the professional development and celebrated the private milestones of each individual member of our team. He was an extraordinary mentor and wonderful friend who will be skipped beyond evaluate,” Heath claimed.

Coordinating producer Mitch Alva echoed that: “I truly feel so fortunate to have identified as Dax a boss, mentor, and pal. Anyone who labored for him was held to the identical large conventional, and his employees at ‘This Week’ benefitted significantly from his affected person nurturing of all of our professions.”

“He introduced out the most effective in us. His passing is a tremendous reduction to all who labored with him,” Alva mentioned.

Lantry, who was with Tejera in Oct generating the Fauci interview, remembered how he “was normally performing at 120{5c5ba01e4f28b4dd64874166358f62106ea5bcda869a94e59d702fa1c9707720}.”

“I am honored and grateful to have invested the past 12 months and a 50 {5c5ba01e4f28b4dd64874166358f62106ea5bcda869a94e59d702fa1c9707720} operating for Dax. He was equipped to concentrate both equally on the big photograph and the little specifics. On Sunday mornings, he was often doing work at 120{5c5ba01e4f28b4dd64874166358f62106ea5bcda869a94e59d702fa1c9707720}. Two minutes following 1 display concluded, he was previously contemplating about the subsequent meanwhile, I was extra concerned about a nap or my next cup of coffee,” she stated. “He was kind when required, direct when needed, and valued a shut crew. I am devastated by his passing, and heartbroken for his family.”

PHOTO: Dax Tejera

Dax Tejera

Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC Image Archives

A household male

In a tribute on Instagram, Karl reflected on how Tejera’s sudden death was extra unpleasant for the reason that of the guarantee it reduce short.

“I can’t pretty understand individuals phrases. Dax is gone. How is that possible? He [was] as entire of life as any person I have at any time recognised. He adored his family and he liked his get the job done. Dax experienced massive programs and large goals that had been just beginning to be fulfilled,” Karl wrote. “Death has taken him like a thief in the evening, leaving those of us touched by Dax stunned and damage – and cheated to drop him so shortly, so suddenly, so inexplicably.”

“Say a prayer for Veronica and their two attractive women Sofia and Ella. Dax believed he was blessed to have you – and he was appropriate,” Karl wrote. “His existence was considerably way too brief, but there was a cause Dax smiled so significantly – he was definitely pleased. His lifetime was too shorter, but it was loaded with enthusiasm and pleasure and indicating.

“Dax, my buddy, I pass up you. My lifestyle is far better because you were component of it.”

Martha Raddatz, Karl’s fellow “This 7 days” co-anchor, furthermore shared her shock and grief on social media.

“I traveled the planet with this talented, passionate and loving govt producer. We shed him past evening abruptly and tragically. … We are all devastated. I just cannot quite think it is serious. He was so very good to all of us. But his true loves have been his spouse Veronica and 2-year-previous Sofia and 6 thirty day period previous Ella. Be sure to hold them in your prayers. I am heartbroken,” Raddatz wrote on Instagram.

PHOTO: Dax Tejera is seen, Nov. 30, 2022.

Dax Tejera, Nov. 30, 2022.

Heidi Gutman/ABC Picture Archives

‘He truly fought for me’

Some of Tejera’s long lasting contributions will be as a mentor with an exacting capability to identify and nurture expertise.

“Dax considered in me right before I at any time believed in myself. He understood what I was meant to do effectively ahead of I figured it out. He genuinely fought for me and inspired me in a way no one else ever has. Like the rest of my workforce users, I am devastated to drop my mentor, my champion and my friend,” said segment producer Quinn Scanlan.

There was so a lot about functioning with Tejera that will continue to be with her, Scanlan claimed.

“I will miss his sneakers clicking down the edit bay hallway on Sunday mornings. I am going to miss out on his someway always horrible Wi-Fi relationship that made him extremely hard to obviously make out when he worked from home. I’ll pass up listening to him communicate so loudly on the cellphone that we could all listen to him even although he was in his workplace with the door closed. I’ll miss him waving to me from that immaculate office as I walked into our workspace,” she reported. “I am going to overlook nearly usually sitting down to his proper in our conference place meetings. I will pass up hearing his voice on headset, even nevertheless at times I was so around what he was indicating. I am going to skip how he claimed, ‘Hi Quinn,’ with this realizing smile. And I will miss out on how he always created a place to check out on me, and to tell me he valued me and my opinions. He’s irreplaceable, and I am going to skip him so significantly for the relaxation of my life.”

Associate producer Julia Cherner, like other folks on the team, claimed Tejera improved the system of her career.

“Dax advocated for me in a way no a person at any time has ahead of. He was aggressive and sort. He challenged me, mentored me and invested in my progress. He talked with me about my objectives and how I could realize them. He acknowledged my probable before I could see it in myself,” she claimed. “He was dependable, honest — a serious straight shooter — and usually saved his word.”

“Dax cared deeply about just about every element of our show and everyone who labored on it. He took his responsibility to inform the American community seriously and with enthusiasm and pleasure. He was an incredible television producer — often with a eyesight. No concept was ever far too big,” Cherner claimed. “He represented the quite finest in all of us and I feel so lucky to have recognized him and to have learned from him. The loss of our chief is devastating, and I’m heartbroken for Dax’s spouse, Veronica, and for his gorgeous girls, Sofia and Ella.”

PHOTO: Dax Tejera is seen at This Week with George Stephanopoulos, on December 11, 2022. CREW

Dax Tejera is found at This 7 days with George Stephanopoulos, on December 11, 2022.

Pawel Kaminski/ABC Picture Archives

Producer Meg Mistry, too, said Tejera’s discernment and readiness to persuade more junior producers pushed her to her very best.

“Of all the a long time I have invested in this marketplace, no one man or woman has had a a lot more profound influence on me or my job than Dax. I experienced prolonged ached for mentorship in my profession and upon signing up for ‘This 7 days,’ Dax introduced that instantly,” Mistry stated. “He agreed to mentor me, transforming into far more than just that, and into a confidant and a mate.”

“Every single Sunday soon after the clearly show we achieved briefly, breaking down how the demonstrate experienced performed out. Every week he took time to rewatch my parts from the past demonstrate and give notes for improvement. He analyzed every single meticulously — essential of the smallest specifics. It was not always enjoyable — and he failed to at any time go quick on me, but as the weeks went on, I grew into a more robust and more savvy producer,” she reported. “He was thorough. He challenged me to do and be superior every single one day. He sought my opinion and valued it, showing me how and why to be assured in my skills.”

‘I am so grateful’

Mistry tells these two stories:

“1 of my preferred memories was with Dax in Phoenix for a dwell, remote episode of ‘This Week.’ We labored perfectly into the late night on a Saturday from the resort foyer alongside one another, splitting a bottle of wine and talking in between our operate calls and email messages. He encouraged me not to enable work grow to be my total daily life — expressing ‘every second of down time I get, every time there’s a lull, I go and hug my ladies, since you under no circumstances know when the upcoming shoe will drop.’ That line stuck with me, a reminder of who and what is critical in an sector that can turn into all-consuming. A concept he reiterated in our past dialogue, which was about the vacation credits we were creating together. Even though they were a comparatively simple piece, like every thing Dax touched, he required them to be best.

“He named me on Friday afternoon, hours in advance of he handed, to thank me for operating on my days off and to take pleasure in my Christmas vacations. That is who he was — somebody who sought to be the incredibly best in their discipline, who introduced out the best in individuals all over him and generally designed them up. I am so grateful to have worked below his management, to have watched him at the helm of the present, and to merely have recognized him.”

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