By LARRY VAUGHT
The wait is almost over.
Nancy Cox will be back in her familiar role anchoring the 6 p.m. news on WLEX-TV again starting Sept. 10 after almost a five-month break due to back surgery and then her rehabilitation/recovery.
“I am so thrilled to have a date set to come back and something to do,” Cox said today on WKYB-FM. “I talked with management yesterday and they will not allow me to jump back in full time right away. They have warned me they are going to be holding me back to make sure I don’t overdo it. But I will be back in the office next Thursday and have a couple of days just to use to being in the newsroom again. We are just playing this totally by ear. I will start with the 6 o’clock news and then move to other newscasts when I’m ready for it.”
Cox said those who think she might have enjoyed her five-month break likely don’t understand the pain, fatigue and other issues she’s had. That’s why it helped that LEX18 made sure to keep her “relevant” by mentioning her name on air and in social media posts.
“People come and go in TV markets so quickly. When you are off work you lose your sense of purpose and even your sense of confidence. That’s why it was a nice confidence boost to hear them mention my name on air to let me know they were thinking about me,” Cox said. “I even got cards and letters at work from viewers. I went into work and had 205 missed calls on my office phone. I really appreciate that support from the public.”
One difference when she returns to work is that Alan Cutler is no longer the sports anchor. He retired in May about a month after her back surgery.
“It’s going to be very odd to be in the newsroom without Cutler,” Cox said. “The newsroom can be a stressful place but then I would hear Cutler say something and find a really funny comeback for him or he would for me. He helped keep that stressful environment in check and help me stay grounded. Some of the biggest laughs in my life have been at or with Cutler. I’ll miss him.”
She thinks she’ll be nervous Sept. 10 when she goes back on air despite her years of experiencing anchoring LEX18 news and being a household face and name across our state. She might even get emotional.
“I could get emotional, especially on air with Bill Meck. And I’ve always had so much fun working with Kevin Christopher,” Cox said. “I don’t know how it will be but I think emotional is a pretty good guess that first day.”