After a 911 call at 8:13 a.m. on Saturday, police and firefighters arrived at a residence in Hoover, south of Birmingham, Alabama, and found the 45-year-old dead.
“Our deepest sympathy is shared with Chris’s loving family and close friends,” said Eric Land, vice president and general manager of Sinclair Broadcast Group.
“We have lost a revered colleague whose indelible imprint will forever serve as a mark of journalistic decency, honesty and integrity. We can only hope to carry on Chris’ legacy. May her memory be for the blessing, ”said Mr. Land.
While working as a reporter and morning presenter at ABC’s KNXV-TV branch in Phoenix, Ariz., Mr. Sign was the first to report on the June 2016 meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then-General Counsel Loretta Lynch on the Sky Harbor tarmac. Pheonix International Airport during the presidential campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Mr. Sign wrote a book as a result of the story titled Secret on the tarmac.
Mr. Sign grew up near Dallas, Texas, and worked as a reporter for ABC 33/40 between 2000 and 2005. He has reported on stories such as the Brookwood mine disaster in 2001 and hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Ivan.
The station announced in 2017 that he was returning to the channel, this time as the evening presenter.
“The opportunity to join ABC 33/40 as a weeknight presenter in 2017 was too good an opportunity for him and his family to pass up,” the station wrote.
“What most people don’t know is that Chris turned down an opportunity to work for one of the national networks to come to ABC 33/40, and he made that decision because of his family.
“This decision put him in a place where he could accompany his boys to school in the morning, watch them play baseball at night and take them fishing on the weekends,” the station added.
He also won an Edward R Murrow Spotlight Award for reporting on the Baseline Killer and Serial Shooter hunting in Phoenix in the summer of 2016.
While attending the University of Alabama in the 1990s, Mr. Sign served as an offensive lineman for the Crimson Tide for four years.
He met his wife Laura, a volleyball player, in college. They have three sons together.
“Chris was a tremendous leader in our newsroom,” ABC 33/40 wrote on its website Saturday.
“He worked on a daily basis with our reporters, but also behind the scenes with the I-Team and with the people in charge of the information on the coverage of major events. You were very likely to receive an email from him with a story idea in the middle of the night. He was passionate about journalism and showed it every day as he pushed himself and his colleagues to be the best. “