Cox signing off at WRTV after 36 years covering city

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Another legend among those who grew up watching Indianapolis television is about to ride off into the sunset.

Reporter Norman Cox, 65, will retire from WRTV-TV Channel 6 on Nov. 1—his last day after 36 years at the ABC television affiliate. 

He joined the station in 1976. As a Statehouse reporter, he covered seven of Indiana’s governors, starting with Otis Bowen.

Cox’s retirement announcement comes just days after WISH-TV Channel 8 anchorwoman Debby Knox announced her plans to retire Nov. 26, after 33 years at the CBS affiliate.

The bespectacled and often-grinning Cox, who grew up in Ohio and still roots for the Cleveland Browns, is a wealth of institutional knowledge on all things Indianapolis.

He was there in 1977 when local resident Tony Kiritsis wired a sawed-off shotgun to the head of a mortgage banker and held him hostage for 63 hours. 

The following year was the Blizzard of 1978. Cox also covered the Hoosier Lottery scandal of 1989 when agency director Jack Crawford resigned after an affair with agency HR executive Mary Cartwright.

“Having a front row seat at history-making events has been a great perk of the job,” Cox said in a statement.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence credited Cox for “his thoroughness, his professionalism and his integrity.”

WRTV said recent hire Katie Heinz will take over Cox's beats.

The station recently was purchased by E.W. Scripps Co., which has devoted more resources to bulking up the news staff and expanding its offering of newscasts.

His boss, news director Terri Cope-Walton, said, “Norman has been a great journalist for central Indiana for decades. His work is second to none, and we are proud to have had him on our staff.”

Not all local television legends have been able to sit still after retirement.

Mike Ahern retired from WISH-TV in 2004 after 37 as a reporter and anchor at the station.  Nearly three years ago he came back to host a 30-minute talk show known as “Mike Ahern: One on One.”

WISH recently canceled the show, saying the “Larry King Live” format doesn’t work as it once did. The station said it would continue to look for opportunities for Ahern, now in his early 70s.

News and entertainment reporter Patty Spitler also couldn’t sit still after leaving WISH nine years ago. She’d been grappling with inner-ear disorder Meniere’s Disease, which caused dizziness and made it difficult to hear.

Spitler occasionally appears on WISH’s "Indy Style" and is a contributor to "Pet Pals TV," which is syndicated on several stations.

WRTV said Cox is looking forward to slowing down and spending time with his wife, Kathy.


  • Changing of the Guard
    I hate to see Norm leave but perhaps it's the normal course of changing of the guard. Earlier this week MaryBeth Schneider, long time Star statehouse reporter spiked her last story. The problem is that there is little institutional history left that is vital to good political reporting. It will take new statehouse reporters years to know where each body is buried and more importantly why it's important to know. Good luck Norm!!

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...