Nicole Pence, a rising star at WTHR-TV Channel 13 and a niece of Gov. Mike Pence, is no longer listed as a staff member on the station’s website.
In the TV news business, that’s a bad sign.
WTHR officials did not respond to phone calls and emails as to the status of the field reporter and “Weekend Sunrise” anchor.
But local TV sources said Pence abruptly departed from the station this week. Among the more recent stories she was pursuing was the 35th anniversary of the Burger Chef murders in Speedway.
Four employees of the restaurant were murdered and the case has never been solved.
Pence did not return a phone call seeking comment.
On Friday, the TV news insider website NewsBlues reported that Pence “was fired.” A NewsBlues source also said that a morning show producer had been let go, citing an unrelated incident.
Pence’s WTHR Facebook page remains active, although the last post was on Nov. 19. A story on the station's website about her arrival at WTHR in 2012 is no longer available.
'The Columbus native and DePauw University graduate was hired by WTHR in the spring of 2012, at age 29. She had been morning co-anchor at WLEX-TV in Lexington, Ky.
Pence has been wrapping up a master’s degree in public affairs at Indiana University.
It’s been a year of tumult at local television stations. The highest-profile change this year was the departure of veteran WTHR chief meteorologist Chris Wright. Wright rejected a reduced role to make way for former WISH-TV Channel 8 meteorologist Angela Buchman during evening newscasts.
More recently, at WXIN-TV Fox 59, Kristin Kane was hired as morning news anchor, starting Dec. 9. She replaces Jenny Anchondo, who moved to a Dallas station last month.
WISH next week will say goodbye to anchor Debby Knox, who is retiring after four decades. And WRTV-TV Channel 6 political reporter Norman Cox recently retired after 36 years.