Family and friends of former journalist Cathy Campbell have paid tribute to a woman who was warm, kind and devoted herself to others.

The 49-year-old died on Thursday after a long battle with a brain tumour.

Ms Campbell worked as a journalist for radio and television for many years after completing her studies in Wellington. She worked as the health reporter for Television New Zealand and in 1989 became the first woman to anchor a Kiwi sports show: Sportsnight.

During her work as a reporter, she met television producer Ric Salizzo - who created Sportscafe.


The couple had a son, Carlo, who is studying law at Victoria University in Wellington.

After her journalism career - which spanned about 15 years - Ms Campbell started her own public relations company, Cathy Campbell Communications.

Yesterday family and friends paid tribute to a woman they described as warm, kind, generous and completely selfless.

In a statement sent to the Weekend Herald, Salizzo said his wife "made the sun shine".

Presenter Susan Wood, who worked alongside Ms Campbell for many years, said she could not say enough good things about her long-time friend.

"The thing I'm going to remember about her is her absolute kindness and her goodness and her decency ... She was always interested in what was going on in your life."

A service to celebrate Ms Campbell's life will be held at 11am on Wednesday at Sacred Heart College in Glendowie, Auckland.