Petra Mayer, Former Axios Reporter, Dies of Cancer

Petra Mayer, the NPR political correspondent who worked with Axios founder Jim VandeHei for 16 years and was a media analyst for FOX News, has died.

The National Public Radio news service confirmed Mayer’s death in a tweet and said she had been a journalism student at USC when she co-wrote the biography of Senator Dianne Feinstein, shortly before joining NPR in 2006. She was 46.

Upon joining the staff of NPR, Mayer became the host of the weekend political program “Weekend Edition Saturday.”

Upon joining the staff of NPR, Mayer became the host of the weekend political program “Weekend Edition Saturday.” pic.twitter.com/pz3SKkfN7q — NPR (@NPR) July 20, 2018

Mayer, whose tenure at NPR spanned from 2006 to 2017, won the 2015 Award for Career Achievement from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

She returned to NPR in 2017 as a radio, online and television political analyst. She was working on a book about Congress when she died of cancer on Friday, two days after a passing diagnosis.

In response to the loss, Congressman Mark Takano, D-CA, paid tribute to Mayer.

“Petra Mayer was an invaluable member of NPR’s political reporting team. She was a thoughtful and respected colleague, a passionate advocate for diversity in both media and government, and a rising star in the community. My heart goes out to her family and friends at NPR,” he said.

Mayer covered two of the most-watched battles over a bill to create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants — including the failed DREAM Act debate in 2017 and the months-long appropriations debate earlier this year.

FOX News Senior Vice President for Programming Bill Shine said, “On a professional level, Petra Mayer was a great colleague and a mentor to many. On a personal level, she was my mother’s dear friend and one of her treasured daughters. It is with sadness that we learn of her passing and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.”

On a professional level, Petra Mayer was a great colleague and a mentor to many. On a personal level, she was my mother’s dear friend and one of her treasured daughters. It is with sadness that we learn of her passing and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. — Bill Shine (@billshine) July 20, 2018

She worked for four years with VandeHei at Axios before the news organization came under siege by the left. She left and founded the website PreserveOurDemocracy.org, which fought to preserve long-contested state laws in Tennessee.

She was married to Andy Kahan, who was named last year as the national program director for The Youth Policy Forum.

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