WRTV losing longtime news director Cope-Walton to Florida stations

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Terri Cope-Walton

Terri Cope-Walton, a fixture at WRTV-TV Channel 6 for more than 20 years, is leaving her position as news director at the Indianapolis station for a job in Jacksonville, Florida.

Graham Media Group Inc. announced late last week that it had hired Cope-Walton to be vice president and general manager at two of its stations in Jacksonville: independent station WJXT-TV Channel 4 and CW affiliate WCWJ-TV Channel 17.

Her first day in the new job will be Nov. 15.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to work with a great team, and at two legacy stations,” Cope-Walton said in written remarks. “I look forward to settling into the Jacksonville community and continuing the great work WJXT and WCWJ are known for in the market.”

Cope-Walton broke barriers in 2013, when she became the first Black television news director in Indianapolis history. The promotion came 15 years after she joined WRTV as a weekend-morning associate producer.

Along the way, she filled several positions, including lead producer for Good Morning Indiana, assistant news director, and leading the station’s community affairs efforts.

Before WRTV, Cope-Walton was a producer/reporter for WHIO-TV in Dayton, Ohio, and an English teacher for Dayton Public Schools.

She has served on the board of governors for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and is a lifetime member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Cope-Walton won four Emmy awards and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award at WRTV. She was named a Women of Influence by IBJ in 2014.

In Jacksonville, Cope-Walton replaces Bob Ellis, who was named general manager of Graham Media’s WDIV-TV Channel 4 in Detroit.

“Terri is fiercely committed to localism and deeply strategic in her approach to leading multi-platform community focused media,” Graham Media Group CEO Emily Barr said in a written statement. “She brings a wealth of experience, intelligence and compassion … and will enthusiastically immerse herself in the Jacksonville community.”

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