Joyce Evans, a reporter and anchor at Fox 29 for 24 years, is retiring at the end of the month.
Evans told station management of her plans in mid-May, according to an internal newsletter item from news director Jim Driscoll that was shared with The Inquirer.
“I know I speak for all when I say our collective hearts dropped at the news, but our hearts are also uplifted by the 24 years of incredible service Joyce has provided the viewers of Philadelphia, and the friendship she has given all those who have worked alongside her,” read the note. “Since 1996, Joyce has done it all at Fox 29. She has been a staple on the weekend anchor desk, providing our station with stability, substance and credibility. Her years as our station’s health correspondent secured her a place in our communities as a trusted voice on medical issues, shining a light on important advances that saved lives.”
A native of Washington Evans came to Philadelphia in 1986 to work for KYW (Channel 3, then an NBC station), where she was a reporter and fill-in anchor as well as host of The Saturday Tribune. She joined Fox 29 in 1996. She began her news career in radio, moving into TV at an ABC affiliate in Lynchburg, Va., before moving on to a CBS station in Miami, according to her station biography.
The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists named Evans Broadcast Journalist of the Year in 2008, and she’s won five Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards as an individual reporter as well as participating in other Emmy-winning projects.
In 2015, Evans testified in the trial of a federal lawsuit in which a jury found that Evans’ former co-anchor, Tom Burlington, had not been fired in 2007 for racial reasons. Her testimony involved Burlington’s use of the N-word in a conversation in which he was repeating something he said someone else had said about her. That conversation had followed his use of the word during a staff meeting. Burlington, who is white, had contended that Black employees of the station had used the word without being disciplined for it.