Carmel, Ind. – June 11, 2018 – Four long-time Hoosier broadcasters will be inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame in November. The Indiana Broadcasters Association today announced the 2018 class that includes TV reporter Norm Cox, radio host Bernie Eagan, radio host and general manager Al Hobbs, and TV host, reporter and producer Patty Spitler.
“We look forward to celebrating the unique careers of these legendary Hoosier broadcasters,” said IBA Executive Director Dave Arland. “The diverse 2018 class is made up of TV and radio personalities who served as voices of and for their communities for decades helping to inform and entertain the state in their own, unique ways. With the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers, we are proud to honor Norm, Bernie, Al and Patty this year.”
The 2018 Hall of Fame class will be inducted on Thursday, November 1st at lunch during the annual Indiana Broadcasters Conference in Carmel.
Norman Cox began as the Indiana Statehouse reporter at WRTV-6 Indianapolis in 1976. During that time, he covered seven governors from Otis Bowen to Mike Pence. He retired in November of 2013 after a 36-year career.
A two-time Emmy award winner, Norm also has received awards for excellence from The Associated Press, United Press International, Society of Professional Journalists and the Indianapolis Press Club.
Before coming to Indianapolis, Norm also worked for WTOL-TV Toledo, Ohio and has a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University.
Beech Grove-native Bernie Eagan was born blind, but he didn’t let that stop him from pursuing a love of music and entertainment. After graduating from the Indiana School for the Blind in 1975, Bernie went on to Ball State University where he graduated with a degree in Radio and Television Communications. He then accepted a position as a Programming Consultant at WWHC-FM (now WMXQ-FM) Hartford City and was hired part time by WERK-AM Muncie.
In July 1981, Bernie began working at Emmis Communications, specifically with WENS (now WLHK-FM) Indianapolis eventually becoming Music Director and Assistant Program Director along with hosting the afternoon drive from 1984 – 2002. He also hosted Friday Night Retro Show from 1999-2002.
From 2002 – 2010, Bernie hosted mornings on WYXB-FM Indianapolis and, since 2010, has hosted afternoons on WYXB-FM Indianapolis.
An Alabama native, who later moved to Kentucky, Al Hobbs left a career in the grocery business when he was lured to join WTLC-FM Indianapolis in its early days by then General Manager Tom Mathis. Al quickly rose through the ranks becoming Sales Manager in 1974 and then General Manager in 1976.
Al’s Sunday afternoons “The Love Train” gospel music program garnered huge ratings and exposed generations to quality Black gospel music. For a quarter century, Al helped grow WTLC-FM in the major force in Indianapolis and Indiana broadcasting and as one of the country’s pioneering Black Radio stations. WTLC-FM achieved rating success and audience dominance under his leadership.
In 2012, Al’s award-winning gospel music shows returned to the Indianapolis airwaves on WITT-FM Indianapolis. Hobbs passed away in 2014.
Emmy Award-winner Patty Spitler, host, reporter and producer for “Pet Pals TV” and “Great Day TV,” has had a 42-year career in radio and TV broadcasting. Patty came to Indianapolis in 1982 to co-host “Indianapolis Afternoon” with Dick Wolfsie on WISH-TV Indianapolis, and eventually expanded her talent to become a noon news anchor. She retired from WISH in 2004.
In 2009, she was approached by a producer to join “Pet Pals TV,” which now airs not only on WISH-TV, but also on 23 stations nationwide. The program focuses on the relationship between animals and humans.
Patty is now host, reporter and executive producer of “Great Day TV” which airs weekly on WISH-TV and presents human interest stories and stories of intriguing people from all walks of life.