A message from Joe Cole:

After 15 years on the FOX21 anchor desk, I’m stepping into a new role here at FOX21.

Many viewers may not know that for the past 10 years I’ve been working two jobs. Those two jobs were News Director and Anchor. When we first set those duties in motion, we only had a one hour nightly newscast at 9:00 p.m. and our staffing numbers were right around 16 people. Back in those days, the two jobs were easier to manage.

The good news is we’ve had great success here at FOX21, and with the success, we’ve been able to expand our news product. Over the years we have added a four-hour morning show, a 5:00 p.m. show, a 6:30 p.m. show, and, most recently, a two-hour weekend morning show from 5:00 – 7:00 a.m. With the additional news hours, our staff has also grown to more than 40 staff members in the news department alone.

Several years ago I approached our General Manager about leaving the anchor desk and managing full-time. He agreed it was time to make the change, so we started our search and added an additional anchor to the staffing budget.

This fall, after many candidate interviews and years of searching, we found the anchor that we feel exemplifies the values of FOX21 News. The addition of Scott Kilbury to our staff will fill the anchor chair nicely, allowing me to focus on my role as News Director. The move will not only allow me to focus full-time on managing our content and staff, but it will also allow me to spend more with my family.

Some of the highlights for me as an anchor include working on stories such as the Waldo Canyon Fire, Black Forest Fire and Planned Parenthood shooting. These were trying times for the community I’ve grown to love and was honored to share reporting responsibilities from the desk, helping get important information to the public as quickly as possible.

During both the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires, our team worked to produce 24-hour coverage as we were nonstop live with no commercials for several days. When I wasn’t on air, I was managing our coverage and resources. These events created some of the most challenging and rewarding moments in my anchor career. We also won some humbling awards after our coverage.

For the record, one of the things I will not miss is wearing makeup every night.

Working two jobs all these years wouldn’t have been possible without the talented staff here at FOX21. We have some great journalists working not only in front of the cameras, but behind the scenes as well. I am honored to be part of a team comprised of such journalistic integrity. It’s our goal at FOX21 News to bring the public unbiased information with no spin or slant–something I feel we have done since launching FOX21 News 15 years ago.

While I will certainly miss certain aspects of anchoring the news, I’m ready for the next challenge and look forward to leading our staff in continued success here at FOX21. Thank you to the Colorado Springs community. I greatly admire and respect this city’s leaders, law enforcement and, of course, our viewers. I also have great respect for the competing media outlets in Colorado Springs. I have met wonderful people in this town and am proud to call Colorado Springs my home. Thank you to my fellow co-workers, from our fearless leader, Steve Dant, to every producer, reporter, photojournalist, web producer, director, editor, anchor, meteorologist, promotions executive, sales executive and everyone else behind the scenes who make our news product the example to follow in this market. And finally, thank you to my family who has stood by me all these years, as I have spent many long hours building a career at FOX21 News.

It has been an honor serving you from behind the news desk.