For days friends had wondered about the surprising death of Michael Collins at age 63. Now police in Orange, CT have announced that they are investigating the suspicious circumstances of his death.
Police say Collins died June 17th. The Connecticut Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that the cause of death was poisoning by ethylene glycol, the main chemical used in antifreeze.
Collins had been the broadcast editor for the New York City Bureau of the Associated Press for much of the 1970s and ’80s before leaving to manage radio stations, including WSNG-AM Torrington, CT, when it was owned by NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol.
In recent years he had managed WQUN-AM, the student station at Quinnipiac University, where he was credited with establishing a strong local news presence. Most recently he had done consulting work for WNET-TV New York.
Collins was active in the New York Chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. He is survived by his long-time partner, David Cappiello.
WTHN-TV Hartford reported that as of yet police have no suspects in Collins’ poisoning.
RBR-TVBR observation: I first met Michael Collins when he was in the AP’s NYC Bureau and I was a new hire at the national broadcast wire on the same floor in Rockefeller Center. You didn’t have to talk to him long to figure out that his great passions in life were news and radio. He was such an institution in the bureau that we were all shocked when he left to pursue his dream of actually managing radio stations. It is more shocking to think now that anyone could have wished harm to Michael Collins, who was such a warm person and friend to so many people in this industry. – Jack Messmer, Executive Editor, RBR-TVBR