NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s a sad milestone for all of us here at WCBS.
She was only 26 when she died in a moped accident last year in New York City.
Since then, every day, her loss has been felt from all corners of our newsroom.
CBS2’s Lisa Rozner shares how we’re remembering Nina.
In June, 2019, Nina Kapur joined WCBS.
“She asked me to take a picture of her on her very first story, and then she posted that picture of her and wrote ‘pinch me I’m living my dream,’” said CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge.
So tenacious, she had lined up her first job before graduating from Syracuse University with honors.
By 25, she had already worked on-air in Connecticut and Maryland, soon landing in New York City, the country’s largest news market.
She was only here about a year, but her positive energy was contagious.
“No matter how my day was going, she always had a smile or something very positive to say, and I definitely miss that,” said sports anchor Otis Livingston.
“Any kind of story they threw at her, her reaction was just to have a very big smile: Let’s go let’s do this,” said reporter Dave Carlin.
Under a tight deadline, for what we didn’t know at the time was her last assignment, she told a manager “I’ll hustle and I’ll make it work.” That phrase is now etched into our newsroom chalkboard.
“I was lucky enough to sit next to Nina from day one. I noticed she always came in early, she wrote her stories quickly, and she was kind to everyone,” Rozner said.
“No matter how busy she was, or on deadline, she would look over at me and the computer next to her and listen to me, no matter what,” said reporter Kiran Dhillon.
During the darkest days of the pandemic, she listened to first responders isolated from loved ones.
“She was not only a really talented reporter, she was also a really talented photographer. She shot all of her stories on her own,” said photographer Dana Riccardi.
She captured a girl’s dangerous commute to school, and got a rare look inside City Hall’s clocktower as the clockmaster turned back time for daylight savings.
She profiled a young cancer survivor named sheriff for the day.
“When asked what was his favorite experience, Doug couldn’t choose. He was beaming from ear to ear with every experience,” Nina reported.
Almost a year later, the Suffolk County Sheriff didn’t forget that interaction, sharing his condolences.
Multitasking, reporting and operating the camera didn’t stop her from looking polished in waders and muddy water, or on a windy boat ride.
“Super cool under pressure, had it handled. I was so impressed by her,” said CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
And as of a few weeks ago, she is Emmy-nominated Nina for her work as part of CBS2’s 2019 Tunnel to Towers coverage.
She posted that day “it was such a privilege” to document thousands running to remember the life of firefighter Stephen Siller on 9/11.
You could feel her empathy in her interviews. Colleague John Dias says he and Nina made a pact.
“Every single year we were going to get nominated for an Emmy, and we were going to bring home a statue,” Dias said.
“I really think Nina would have gone far in the business, and she could have done whatever she wanted to do,” said photographer Al Lesner.
“She loved this job and she was so good at it. The last time I was with her, she spoke about how much she loved it,” reporter Jenna DeAngelis said.
“Her attitude was always so good, no matter what was thrown at her. And that can be hard to do in this business, you know. It’s a tough one,” said CBS2 anchor Cindy Hsu. “Sometimes I’ll be going through old video, and looking through old videos and looking through stories, and one of her stories will pop up, and I’ll see her face, and at first my heart takes a jump because we lost her, but then it makes me smile when I think of her. Because that’s the way she was, she made you smile.”
“After being at CBS for more than two decades, I’ve seen a lot of reporters come into that newsroom, but Nina was so special,” said reporter Hazel Sanchez. “I couldn’t help but think she was like a daughter to me, and I really wanted the best for her. I used to always think I hope my daughters turn out as amazing as she was. One year later, it’s hard to believe she’s gone.”
“Nina, a young rising star reporter. We all so admired her committed work ethic, honest, loyal. Her bright future so unfairly snatched away,” said reporter Jennifer McLogan.
Nina’s survived by her mother Monica, father Anup and younger brother Ajay. She was from Newtown, Penn. and often visited.
“The way she was speaking about her family was the same way I feel about my family. So I felt a connection with her in that sense, and I just, you know, constantly think of her family,” Gainer said.
Last month, Nina would have turned 27. As someone who attended every work celebration, it was only fitting some coworkers celebrated her life, and the way she lived it.
“I saw someone smile on the sidewalk the other day, and I thought ‘That is a Nina smile.’ And she lives on through her smile,” said photographer Kristy Barry.
“A couple of weeks ago, I pulled up a piece of file tape and it was Nina’s story,” said producer Stephanie Cassell. “And seeing her there was shocking and initially very sad, and then a little happy to see her beautiful face there and talking to me. And it just affirmed everything that was so right and good about her, and how lovely she really was, and her beautiful manner in speaking, and her graciousness in storytelling, and with stories like that, that kind of live on, you know a piece of her will always be there. And she’ll always be part of all of us too.”
“Working with Nina was especially seamless. She was always so organized,” said writer Lauren Mennen. “Every time I see her name in our system, I get chills. I just stop and remember her smile, remember the impact she had here in such a short time. It’s like she’s just always here with us. She really is.”
“We miss her here at CBS, and the world misses Nina because it’s a better place with people like her in it,” said video editor John Hess.
While Nina lived such a beautiful life, over the past year her death sparked an impact on rider safety, when it comes to mopeds on city streets. Last July, Nina was a passenger on a moped rented from the ridesharing company Revel. She and the driver were not wearing helmets when, after a sudden maneuver, both fell off.
Revel said she was the first rider-related fatality. Soon after, two more people died.
A series of reports from our station highlighted the city’s lax oversight of the company.
This past May, the city passed legislation that will give it more authority to regulate ridesharing moped companies.