Several developments today in the kidnapping of Steve Centanni, a Fox News correspondent with roots in the Bay Area, and cameraman Olaf Wiig of New Zealand. The pair were snatched at gunpoint Monday in Gaza City.
- • Wiig’s wife, BBC World newscaster Anita McNaught, met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who said he had assurances from groups that knew about the kidnapping that her husband is alive and well, according to New Zealand’s Star Times.
• All major militant groups in the Palestinian territories have denied involvement in the kidnappings, according to the AP.
• McNaught made an emotional plea for her husband’s release on Al Jazeera.
• Centanni’s brother and sister issued statements asking for his release. Ken Centanni, who lives in San Jose, said, “He is far more valuable to the Palestinian people free as a journalist than as a captive.”
• About 30 members of the Palestinian Journalists’ Union gathered outside the parliamentary building in Gaza, holding up signs demanding the men be freed. “We don’t care who kidnapped them, we want them returned unharmed. This is a very serious case for the Palestinians, for the Palestinian Authority,” said Jennifer Griffen, chief Fox News correspondent for the Middle East.
Centanni, 60, graduated from Los Altos High in 1964 and from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in television and radio in 1977, according to the Mercury News and NBC 11. He worked for local radio stations was a producer and writer at KRON for eight years. He moved to Alaska and worked on the air in television there. From there he went to CNN and later Fox News. His family includes seven siblings, who mostly live on the West Coast.