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Family trusts AP with news of filmmaker Ivan Reitman’s death

Ivan Reitman poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif., Jan 7, 2011. Reitman, the influential producer and director behind beloved comedies from “Animal House” to “Ghostbusters,” died peacefully in his sleep in Montecito, Calif., Feb. 12, 2022, his family said. He was 75. Reitman passed away peacefully in his sleep Saturday night, Feb. 12, 2022, at his home in Montecito, Calif., his family told The Associated Press. (AP Photo / Matt Sayles, File)

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Because the family of Ivan Reitman trusted her to get the news out quickly and professionally, Los Angeles-based AP film writer Lindsey Bahr broke the news Sunday night of the director-producer’s death.

Bahr took a call Sunday night during the Super Bowl from a trusted source saying that Reitman, the director behind “Ghostbusters,” “Twins,” and other beloved comedies, was dead. The source also sent along a statement from the family. The AP had no preparedness on the 75-year-old filmmaker, but Bahr moved quickly to assemble the breaking obit while editors readied photo and video content. The AP moved its alert at 10:11 p.m. Eastern time, a few minutes after the Super Bowl wrapped, followed two minutes later by a 350-word obit with photos.

Bahr’s story played widely,including the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter while they reported their own obit pieces.

Despite competition from the Super Bowl,Ukraine tensions and the Olympics,Bahr’s story quickly moved into AP’s top five for pageviews on Sunday and had more than 150,000 pageviews on Monday alone. It also featured prominently on social media.

Bahr’s reputation on the film beat led to the scoop, and her work helped all AP formats get ahead on one of the day’s biggest breaking stories.

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