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After 34 years as WKYT’s evening anchor, Sam Dick to retire in November

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 6:59 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - After 34 years at the helm of WKYT’s evening newscasts, Sam Dick plans to step away from the anchor desk and retire at the end of the year.

“When I first walked in the door at WKYT in March of 1979, I was 23 years old. The newsroom still had typewriters, we shot film for news, and there were just four channel options on TV for viewers,” said Dick. “A lot has changed since then, but what hasn’t changed is my focus as a journalist: be a truth-seeker, be fair, accurate, and compassionate.”

Except for five years in the mid-1980s when he worked at WCBS in New York and WESH in Orlando, Dick spent his entire career at WKYT. When he returned to Kentucky in 1987, he joined the evening anchor team and now holds the record of being the longest-running evening anchor in Lexington television history.

“I have been blessed to work with some super talented broadcasters over many decades. There are so many producers, reporters, editors, and fellow anchors who have made me a better journalist. Our current crew, Amber Philpott, Chris Bailey, and Brian Milam are the best of the best,” Dick said.

“Sam is a true journalist. He’s an icon in the business and has been an integral part of our newsroom and overall team for more than three decades. We wish him the best in his well-earned retirement,” said WKYT Vice President and General Manager Jeff Anderson.

As an evening anchor, Dick covered every Final Four the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team played in since 1993 including three national championships.

“For more than three decades, Sam’s been a driving force in our newsroom. You couldn’t ask for anything more from an anchor. He’s a true journalist who cares deeply about our community. He’s also a mentor and one of the best storytellers you will ever know,” said WKYT News Director Robert Thomas.

Reflecting on his career, Dick says perhaps the most important story came early in the morning of August 27, 2006, when Comair Flight 5191 crashed at Blue Grass Airport killing 49 people.

“When my phone rang, my news director, said ‘I need for you to come in. We think there’s been a plane crash,’” Dick said. “I was on the air live by 7:30 a.m., and the news only got worse by the hour. It was a horrible day for people in Kentucky and beyond, but I take pride in knowing our news team treated the disaster with the utmost respect and compassion.”

Sam’s father David Dick was a CBS News correspondent for 19 years. In 2010, Sam was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the same disease that killed his father three months earlier.

“I want to thank our many viewers over the years who have supported me during even some difficult, personal times like my battle with prostate cancer. Almost without exception, they have been comforting, friendly, and respectful. I will miss that special connection,” Dick said.

Dick shared the anchor desk with Amber Philpott for the past 17 years.

“From our first night on-air together, to countless breaking news stories and many miles traveled together covering NCAA tournaments Sam has always been the consummate professional, and I have been afforded the opportunity to learn from him every step of the way,” Philpott said. “Sam has taught me more than he could ever possibly know over the years while I sat beside him on the anchor desk. He has taught me not only to be a better journalist, but also that anchoring the news is about more than just getting it right, it is also about being a part of a trusted team. From day one, Sam treated a very green and eager new journalist in myself as his equal and together we built a friendship and trusted professional team that our viewers have come to know every single night. I am excited for his next chapter, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I am equally as sad to lose a valued friend and co-worker sitting beside me nightly.”

Sam’s wife Noelle Dick owns indoor fitness studio CycleYOU in Lexington. He’s the father of three now-grown children: Samuel III, Leah, and Christina.

“I’m not leaving Kentucky. It’s my home. I was born here. My dad’s family has been rooted in Bourbon County since the 1850s. I have lived most of my life here,” Dick said. “My wife Noelle and I are going to enjoy more family time, and I am looking forward to more grandchildren in the years to come.”

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