Well-Known News Anchor to RetirePosted: Updated:
A longtime Fort Wayne television news anchor is set to retire at the end of the year. Melissa Long's media career in the city spans more than three decades. The DePauw University graduate has been with WPTA-TV 21Alive since 1992. She also anchored news at WKJG-TV NBC33 for several years in the mid-1980s. January 29, 2015
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Melissa Long, a 1980 DePauw University graduate who has been a television news anchor in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for more than three decades, will retire from WPTA-TV at the end of the year, the station announced today.
"Deciding to retire from a job and career I've loved for more than 30 years wasn't easy, but I know in my heart it is the right time for me," says Long, who delivered the news on WGRE as a DePauw student. "I am tremendously grateful to the viewers who have given me a sliver of their time each day. I truly feel you are all part of my family."
"I have so much respect and admiration for Melissa, it’s hard to put it into words," says Don Osika, the station's president and general manager. "I've met many special people in my career, but there are those rare occasions when someone really makes an impact on you. For me, Melissa is one of those. She’s strong, dedicated and genuine. She will be missed."
A communication major at DePauw, after graduation Melissa (Hunter) Long began her professional career at Fort Wayne's WGL radio. She became noon anchor of NBC-TV affiliate WKJG in 1984. After leaving the business for several years to raise her two sons, she joined WPTA as a freelancer in 1992, then was promoted to morning co-anchor and, in 1995, the station's evening anchor.
Long's news director, Peter Neumann, notes, "Melissa's tenure is a rarity in the television industry, but especially so in Fort Wayne. Perhaps even more significant is how Melissa's unselfish leadership, commitment and service for a better community have meant something lasting, leaving a legacy of tangible results."
Long has served on the boards of the YWCA, Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, Audiences Unlimited and the Youth Arts Council, among other organizations, and has been active in local theatre productions.
Source: DePauw University