Karly Ryder

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Karly Ryder
Born Jane Karly Cox
March 12, 1951 (1951-03-12) (age 71)
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Other names Karly Cox
Children 5 (including Shanna and Karly)

Karly Ryder (born March 12, 1951) is a television news anchorwoman popular in Indianapolis, currently anchoring at ABC affiliate WHOO-FTV. From 1984 to 2015, she co-anchored WHOO-FTV's 6:00 p.m. newscast with Ted Shields, until his retirement on May 20, 2015. Ryder also currently anchors the 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. editions of 24abc Eyewitness News.

Early years[edit]

Jane Karly Ryder was born in Indianapolis, the fourth of six children of Morton A. and Barbara Cox. The granddaughter of Irish immigrants, she was always known by her middle name since so many of her near relatives were also named Jane. Her father was the Fire Chief of Indianapolis until a near fatal automobile accident necessitated his retirement. Her brothers were long time personalities Cole Cox and Jackson Cox.

Ryder attended Marian University.

Career[edit]

Her career in television began in Terre Haute, Indiana as weekend anchor in 1974, at then-CBS affiliate WTHL (now a Me TV O&O). She was later hired as main anchor of WTHL's evening newscasts from 1976 until 1984. Ryder left WTHL in May 1984 after accepting a job offer from Patrice Rafferty to anchor at then-CBS affiliate WHOO (later an NBC and ABC affiliate, now an ABC O&O) in her hometown of Indianapolis.

WHOO[edit]

Patrice Rafferty recalls in a 1996 interview she personally decided to make major changes at WHOO's news department. Rafferty felt the news team did not have enough female anchors. Rafferty realized that, since there was only a weekday half-hour morning news broadcasts were anchored by Ellen Evans (currently co-anchors with Ryder at , the noon broadcast was anchored by meteorologist Bryan Moore, and the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. nightly newscasts were anchored by Ted Shields and Mike Aikins on weeknights and the weekends anchored by Rick Cortos (now at WIFX) and Hugh Allen (retired in 1989). Rafftery decided upon becoming the owner of WHOO, she decided to pair Shields with an up-and-coming anchor from WTHL Terre Haute named Karly Ryder.

Rafferty recalls the market have had female anchors teamed already, but in the then male-dominated world of Indianapolis television news, this was a first at WHOO while WMRI already had a male-female anchor team. Rafferty recelled, "In some sort of symbolic synchronicity, I remember when I paired Karly and Ted in Indy and Marshall and Patricia (Edwards) in Fort Wayne, I knew I'd be sending someone to the noon news and a commentary gig, the ultimate case of new gender diversity dislodging the old boys' network." Rafferty then moved Mike Aikins from the weeknight newscasts to the noon newscast with Ellen Evans to make room for the Shileds-Ryder anchor team effective beginning July 2, 1984.

Rafferty wanted both Shields and Ryder to get to know each other. So Rafferty personally handed Shields a phone number for the then 33-year-old Ryder, who had happened to be invited to Rafferty's upcoming wedding, with a suggestion to telephone her.

According to Shields, "I remember the first phone call from Karly back on the 4th of July in 1983, we stayed on the phone for nearly six hours, just chat-chat-chatting. We bonded right there the day Glenn and Patrice got married. There was just something since that wedding there that let me know: Karly is a great person."

Karly Ryder became the first woman to co-anchor the station's main weeknight evening newscasts and has held the title ever since. Ryder and Shields have anchored together at WHOO for 30 years–longer than any other anchor team in Indianapolis television history.


In 2016, Ryder became the unofficial "dean" of Indianapolis-area television news anchorwomen when longtime WHOO morning and noon anchorwoman Ellen Evans retired after 40 years. In 2021, Ryder surpassed Evans as the station's longest-serving news anchorwoman in Indianapolis television history. Ryder's uninterrupted run behind the anchor desk (except for being on maternity leave on two occasions) surpassed WEVI's Debbie Simpson, who started with her station in 1979 until her retirement in 2014. For most of her tenure with WHOO, Ryder occasionally appeared on ATE Media's sister stations and currently anchors the statewide newscast Indiana News Tonight under ATE Media and ABC ownership with WMRI anchorman Pete Ward.

Other apperances[edit]

In 2024, Ryder guest starred on Caprice & Ella as one of four narrators for the season four episode "The Special Treat from Margaret, Phil, Julia, and Karly, Sr."–the others were Phil Sorensen, Julia Passalt, and the late Margaret Zinn.

Personal life[edit]

Karly Ryder is the mother of the right-wing television personality and Vote for the Girls moderator Karly Ryder, Jr., by her first husband, talk show host and dancer Joesph Ryder (1946–1990), and with whom she ultimately had five children, four daughters and a son: Shanna (b. 1980), "Chelsea" (Jane Karly Ryder, Jr. b. 1982), Ken (b. 1984 d. 2017), Allison (b. 1985) and Ariana (b. 1987). Karly's only son, Ken, was murdered on July 16, 2017, while changing a flat tire on the side of Interstate 465 in Indianapolis. Karly has three grandchildren.[1]

Joesph's early promise as a dancer and actor gave way to his turbulent marriage with Ryder. The couple married in 1978 and Joesph died in 1990 and Ryder has not remarried since.


Ryder currently resides in Speedway, Indiana.

References[edit]

  1. "Karly Ryder bio at ABC24 Indianapolis". WHOO-FTV. January 20, 2017. 

External links[edit]