INDIANAPOLIS — Today is bittersweet at FOX59, as we say goodbye to Fanchon Stinger after nearly 12 years on the anchor desk while cheering her on for the chapter ahead.
Stinger is retiring from broadcast news after nearly 30 years to focus on her new production company, as well as youth mentoring through the nonprofit she cofounded, Grit and Grace Nation. She will continue to work as a speaker and host across the country.
“I got into this business to tell compelling stories, uncover the truth, give a voice to the voiceless, and inspire positive change for all. Fifteen Emmys and many incredible journeys later, I am most grateful for the beautiful relationships and the trust so many of you continue to place in me,” she wrote in a letter announcing her retirement. “Along the way, the biggest blessing has been how you’ve inspired me, prayed for me, encouraged me, and welcomed me into your lives like family and your living rooms every day.”
Fanchon Stinger through the years: 2012-2015
Stinger joined FOX59 in 2010 and became a fixture in central Indiana, not only on TV but for her strong ties to the community. She has served as a board member for a long list of local nonprofits, including the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault, Peace Learning Center and Women Empowering Women.
She has been involved with Girls Night Out International, St. Vincent Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Indianapolis schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, United Way, the NAACP and many more.
Throughout her 12 years in Indianapolis, Stinger has been integral to FOX59’s growth and success, both breaking news and finding compelling stories no one else was telling. FOX59 launched four new newscasts during her tenure and grew to the No. 1 most-watched news in central Indiana.
Fanchon Stinger through the years: 2016-2018
She covered Indiana’s biggest events and celebrations, from the Indy 500 to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, and reported on some of the region’s toughest times and tragedies, including the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse that killed seven and injured many others.
Stinger brought awareness to domestic violence issues through her reporting and shined a light on people making a difference in central Indiana through her “Community Hero” series. She worked to bridge the gap between police and communities, setting up meetings between families and former IMPD Chief Troy Riggs to encourage open, honest conversation.
She currently anchors FOX59 News at Five, Six, Seven and Ten alongside Dan Spehler, who joined her in 2013.
“We’ve all had a lot of fun through the years covering so many big moments around the city. And we’re wishing Fanchon all the best in her next chapter,” Spehler said. “She’s done so much throughout our community to help make an impact in people’s lives in so many different ways.”
Throwbacks: Fanchon Stinger before FOX59
FOX59’s Beairshelle Edmé, who has been promoted to now anchor the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Spehler, said Stinger has been a mentor to her from the first day she stepped in the newsroom.
“It’s hard to put into words the impact Fanchon has had on central Indiana, and our FOX59 newsroom,” Edmé said. “From the very beginning on audition day for a job here, Fanchon extended a warm welcome to me and ever since has been in my corner, even pushing for new opportunities for me, including filling the big shoes she leaves behind. Her leadership has guided many journalists and her heart has comforted many Hoosiers in times of joy and sadness. Now it’s time for us to share her with the world, and the sky’s the limit for her next chapter.”
Chief Meteorologist Brian Wilkes, who has worked closely with Stinger for her entire 12 years at FOX59, said he’s having a hard time believing she’s actually leaving.
“For the time being I will be in denial. I will miss her smile. She’s always so positive, even on the heaviest of news days, and I know no one quite like her, ” he said. “I’m on-air with her for so many hours a day and all week long and NOT SEEING her will be jarring. I will miss her.”
Stinger is a Michigan native who spent 11 years as a FOX2 news anchor and reporter in Detroit before joining FOX59. Although she’s leaving Indianapolis, the city will stay with her, she said.
“In 2010 you welcomed me to central Indiana as a Detroiter (Michigan alum, Wolverine fan and all!) and now I say I will leave central Indiana a Hoosier, forever carrying that Hoosier hospitality with me.”