Kellie Rock

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Kellie Rock
Born Kellie Anne Buchanan
(1964-02-18)February 18, 1964
Erie, Pennsylvania
Died April 19, 2016(2016-04-19) (aged 52)
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Cause of death Suicide
Years active 1984-2016
Home town Warren, Pennsylvania
Spouse Megan Rock (formerly Melvin Rock) (m. 1989–2016)
Children 7
Relatives Robyn Hurd (deceased sister)
Maribel Mort (niece)

Kellie Rock (née Buchanan) (February 18, 1964–April 19, 2016) was a former American evening news anchor for NBC affiliate station WVTH-FTV of Vincennes, Indiana and CBS affiliate WWCF-FTV of Tampa Bay. She was a moderator of the American version of Vote for the Girls.

Early life[edit]

Kellie Rock was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, to an unmarried teenage mother that had the last name of Buchanan. She was the half-sister of Robyn Hurd (b. 1961 - d. 2012). In an interview, Kellie Rock later said that her and Robyn's conception were due to a single sexual encounter with a woman that had the last name of Buchannan and the couple broke up not long after. Her mother, Vernita Lee (born c. 1935), was a housemaid. Robyn Hurd had believed that her biological father was Tim Hurd (born 1944), a coal miner turned barber who had been in the United States Army when she was born. Decades later, Pennsylvania farmer and World War II veteran Vernon Buchanan (born c. 1935) claimed to be the biological father[1] as a genetic test in 1995 determined that Vernon is the biological father of Kellie Rock and Tim Hurd the biological father of Robyn, yet confirmed Robyn and Kellie's mother was identified as Thelma Preseley, whom then took custody of Kellie. Around this time, Kellie's mother had given birth to Kellie and later placed up for adoption, because by 1962, Tim Hurd was having difficulty raising Robyn, he sent Kellie to live with Thelma in Philadelphia in the hope of easing the financial straits that had led to Tim Hurd's being on welfare.

Neither Robyn or Kellie learn they had a second half-sister named Patricia Hurd until 2004.

Rock has stated she identified with bisexuality starting when she was 14 years old, something she first announced 10 years later to Robyn. When Rock discussed her sexuality with family members and friends, all except Robyn (who had discussed her own bisexuality eight years before in 1970) they refused to accept what she said.

At 16, after suffering years of abuse, Kellie ran away from home after she began dating her future spouse Melvin Rock (now Megan Rock), then 14 years of age (Melvin had recently moved from Atlanta to Warren, PA). When she was 18, she became pregnant and gave birth to a girl, Elizabeth Rock in May 1983. She began going to Warren Area High School in 1980, where she graduated. By then, she then moved in with her boyfriend of two years.


Rock began her career in 1984 at WVTH in Vincennes, Indiana as a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor after graduating from Edinboro University. It was at WVTH, she even co-anchored the weekend evening newscast with Jeffrey Passalt until Passalt left WVTH in 1985.

From WVTH to WWCF[edit]

In 1987, Kellie came to then-NBC affiliate WWCF to work in the Pinellas County newsroom, as a reporter. She was later promoted to chief of the newsroom. She then transferred to the Tampa newsroom. She became the weekend news anchor, then news manager. In 1995 when WWCF switched from NBC to CBS, she served as co-anchor for the noon and 5 p.m. newscast with Kurt Fonn. At WWCF, she won an Emmy Award.

From WWCF back to WVTH[edit]

On April 1, 2009, WWCF fired Kellie Rock due to budget cuts imposed by then-owner ATE Media Corporation (the station has since been sold to NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations); Rock was controversially been informed of her termination in a manila envelope sent to her by the station. Rock's former co-anchor became the station's lead main anchor at WFSF-FTV.

Rock then re-joined WVTH in September 2009 as co-anchor with Dave Winklespleck, of the station's morning show, NBC 25 Morning News (now NBC 25 Action News Today). On June 6, 2011, Rock moved to the station's weekday evening and late newscasts (the respective 5, 6, and 11 p.m. shows are NBC 25 5:00 News (now NBC 25 5:00 Action News) , NBC 25 Evening News (now NBC 25 6:00 Action News), and NBC 25 News Tonight (now NBC 25 11:00 Action News)) in Vincennes each weekday as co-anchor with Beverly Gadesn, replacing the recently retired Jack McClannahan as anchor.

From WVTH to Vote for the Girls[edit]

Kellie Rock's final newscast aired at 11:00 PM on December 20, 2013.

Following speculation after leaving the TV business, on December 9, 2013, it was announced that Kellie Rock would be joining the Vote for the Girls moderator panel lineup in 2014. Speaking about joining the site, Rock said "I'm very excited to become a mod on Vote for the Girls. I love the concept of the site and have been an avid fan of the site. The moderator rewards for a girl winning is such an important aspect of the music industry and VFTG USA gives us all a part to play in that. Will I be competitive? Probably more than even I imagine! Watch this space!" VFTG Founder and Webmaster Ava Zinn, said that "Kellie is a hugely respected figure within the world of female artists and will be a fantastic addition to Vote for the Girls USA." Fellow moderators, Michelle Steele and Ariel Swaringen spoke highly about Kellie joining the site. Steele stated in a press release, "I'm excited to be returning for the second half of VFTG USA 2014 and to work with Kellie, Ava, Holly and Ariel. Together we will mix it up and bring new energy and ideas to the site." Swaringen said that Kellie and the then unnamed sixth moderator would be a welcome addition to the site.

Prior to accepting the offer for the second half of VFTG USA 2014, Rock was rumored to have turned down the $75,000 offer to join Vote for the Girls in 2012 following the death of Rock's sister, Robyn Hurd. Rock inherited Hurd's only victory of Melanie Amaro. Rock became the fourth moderator on Febraury 18, 2014 and moved to the second moderator seat following the death of Ariel Swaringen.

On April 30, 2014 Kellie Rock initially announced that she will be taking a hiatus on Vote for the Girls and made a suggestion that the moderator panel be rotated for the fall and spring cycles. It was announced a month later that she will be replacing Holly Everman as the chief moderator after Everman accepted the co-hosting duties. It was also announced that Rock's former co-anchor at WVTH (now going by Julia Passalt) would be joining the panel for the fall cycle, thus reuniting with Passalt after 29 years after Passalt left WVTH.

On May 21, 2014, as part of a punishment for failing to support Christina Grimmie and Jena Asciutto in securing the web site's respective fourth consecutive Voice and second consecutive American Idol victory, Kellie Rock and fellow pink team moderator Holly Everman binded their breasts with Rock appearing as a Breast Cancer survivor as if she had a double mastectomy and Everman (after shaving her traditionally long hair) appearing as a female-to-male transgender individual for 90 days.

On July 14, 2014, Rock was suspended from the moderator panel after posting a racist remark on her Facebook page.

On August 17, 2014, Rock took the Male Moderator's $3.3 million cash offer to walk away from the Rising Star season 1 competition, she then earned an advantage since her Vote for the Worst pick, Joshua Peavy, was eliminated in the semi-finals of Rising Star and was not required to participate in Dancing with the Stars make-up competition (that show's 19th season). Nearly three months later on November 25, 2014, upon Julia Passalt taking the $1.25 million cash offer from the Male moderator, Kellie Rock earned her first Vote for the Girls victory as a moderator following the eliminations of Reagan James and Anita Antoinette were both eliminated, leaving Rock's fellow Pennsylvanian, DaNica Shirey, as the remaining female on the seventh season of The Voice and resulted in Rock's fellow moderators--namely Ava Zinn, Holly Everman, Julia Passalt, Lanise White, Kendra Ray, Rhonda Rhodes, and Stephani Alvaraz--using their Moderators' Veto to decline the Vote for the Girls Loss upon Shirey's elimination on December 2, 2014. For her reward as the winning moderator, she was not required to participate in Dancing with the Stars make-up competition (that shows's 20th season)--joining fellow VFTG moderators Holly Everman (as her pick of Alfonso & Witney won the previous DWTS season) and Julia Passalt (as she took two Male Moderator's offers valued at over $9 million in the fall cycle), making Rock the only moderator not to participate in the DWTS make-up competitions for the 2014-15 season.

Rock gained a major windfall during the the web site's sixth season due to Pennsylvania's status as a reality-based show contestant hotbed and fellow Pennsylvanians Audra McLaughlin (from Philadelphia), DaNica Shirey (from York), Mia Z (from Pittsburgh), and Pittsburgh native Christina Aguliera being mainstays on The Voice, the web site's support are consistently among the highest-rated YouTube views in Pennsylvania during the competition. In 2015, for instance, Vote for the Girls supporters via Kellie Rock attracted a 5.3 rating and a 10 share, the third-strongest Vote for the Girls moderator in the nation (behind only long time VFTG moderators Ava Zinn in Marion, Indiana and Holly Everman in Muncie, Indiana).[2] Fellow Vote for the Girls moderator Kymberly Alvaraz has since surpassed Everman and Rock with her seven victories, knocking Rock to fourth-strongest.

During a press conference by Kymberly Alvaraz on February 26, 2015, it was announced that Ava Zinn (which Alvaraz had began dating three months earlier as part of Zinn auctioning her virginity after four Vote for the Girls losses and two moderator saves the previous year) had signed an agreement with her transgendered wife, Megan, to join Kellie on the Vote for the Girls moderator panel as the web site's fourth duo moderator for the web site's seventh season. Though this was never fulfilled.

On September 7, 2015, Kellie Rock announced she that season seven would be her last season as moderator. Rock said, "NoSirGifts has already asked me what my intentions are for next year, whether or not I’d come back, I kind of have told them I think this is my last season. Not I think, this is my last season".[3]

Rock was slated to join NoSirGifts-owned Pittsburgh NBC affiliate WPTL in September 2016 as main anchor with Antonia Parker at 4 and 10 on Independent station WPN (known locally as "PNNS 57") and at 5, 6, and 11 on WPTL. This would have been Rock's third NoSirGifts station as well as a woman as her co-anchor (after Marti McDaniel at WWCF and Beverly Gadsen at WVTH).

Personal life[edit]

In 1980, Kellie Rock and her husband Melvin, began dating for nine years until they married in June 1989. In May of 1983, she gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Victoria, and in 2009, gave birth to a fifth daughter, Chastity Paige, both Elizabeth and Chastity were born in Terre Haute, Indiana. Kellie and Melvin had five more children while in Tampa: daughters Christina Renee (b. 1989), Adriana Robyn (b. 1992), Cassidy Evelyn (b. 2005); and sons Patrick Jake (b. 1995) and Xavier Melvin (b. 2000).

Kellie Rock announced on August 18, 2014 that her husband of 25 years, Melvin Rock, will undergo male-to-female gender transition and will go by the name of Megan Rock. Megan began her gender transition on December 1, 2014 (coincidentally the same day as the transgendered daughters of fellow Vote for the Girls moderators Kym Christian and Julia Passalt, Denise Alvaraz and Rachael Passalt, respectively).


On the evening of April 19, 2016, Kellie Rock committed suicide by cutting her slit both her wrists[4] and throat and with a razor upon seeing that her supported contestant (Emily Keener) was not saved on The Voice. Rock fell backwards violently.Rock was taken to Parkview Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 9:21 PM[4].

Rock's suicide came days after fellow pink team moderator Kathy Roberts died just five days before.[5] [6] The NBC feed had not been working properly and would not run until 28 minutes after The Voice began and missing the first part of the program, which as per Vote for the Girls moderator rules--have be promptly present on the performance (and/or results) night from 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central) to its conclusion and record the site's presentation of the results show(s) night both at Stage 47, and cannot be interrupted, delayed, or joined in progress for any reason.

Although no suicide note was found at the scene, Danni McClannahan received a note shortly after her death in which she expressed remorse and a feeling of responsibility.

In accordance with American journalistic tradition, the public announcement of Kellie's death was withheld by both the wire services and her former station's competitors,[7][4][5] [6] until her family had been notified. WTOR anchor Frank Davidson then delivered, live on WTOR and WXXC, the news of her death. Terre Haute and Tampa news stations WMYX, WMW and WMKE also interrupted programming to report Kellie Rock's death.


The staff and crew of Vote for the Girls learned of Rock's death at 10:15 p.m. Production was suspended for rest of the week (Rock's picks for the tenth season of The Voice were made several weeks beforehand before taking the Male Moderator's offer ). Rock's final picks on The Voice were Shalyah Fearing, Emily Keener, and Paxton Ingram.

Rock was given a short tribute recorded shortly afterwards as a segment that lasted nearly 90 seconds, narrated by host Ava Zinn, which aired before the start of a later episode. Rock's former co-anchor Marti McDaniel (now VFTG moderator), paid tribute to Rock in a lengthy clip montage to end the April 19, 2016 11 p.m. broadcast on WWCF.


  1. ??
  2. ??
  3. Kellie Rock Leaving ‘Vote for the Girls’. Aeverine Zinn Holdings (September 5, 2015). Retrieved on March 26, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Former CBS 4 anchor dies after slashing wrists, CBS 4 Tampa Bay, April 19, 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Vote for the Girls moderator dies after stabbing herself over contestant's elimination", CBS 41, April 19, 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Former NBC 25 Action News Anchor Kellie Rock kills self after shocking 'Voice' elimination"], WVTH-FTV; accessed April 19, 2016.
  7. From Beverly Gadsen on CBS 41 Action News, April 19, 2016 broadcast

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Hillary Matthewson
Moderator #3 of Vote for the Girls (United States)
Succeeded by
Ann Dwyar and Kylie Dwyar