Legendary anchor Martie Salt to retire after 29 years at Channel 9

ORLANDO, Fla. — Anchor Martie Salt announced Wednesday morning that she will retire from WFTV Channel 9 on Dec. 13 after a combined 29 years at the station, completing a 40-year career in broadcast journalism.

Salt anchors Channel 9 Eyewitness News at Noon and serves as the on-air ambassador of 9 Family Connection and 27 Community Connection, which help generate $20 million each year for charities and nonprofits in Central Florida.

"Today, 40 years later, I’m announcing that I am happily concluding my broadcasting career in December," she said in a Facebook post Wednesday. "Much has changed during that time. My lashes have gotten longer, Central Florida’s population has exploded and now the news never stops."

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Salt said she is grateful for the opportunities she has been granted during her time at Channel 9.

"I’m especially thankful for the viewers who continued to watch and the news directors who allowed me to stay on the air despite some early mistakes and some very bad hair days," she said in the post. "People like you have kept people like me employed ... Thank you for welcoming me into your homes and allowing a girl who had absolutely no math skills an opportunity to develop her communications skills and make a career out of it."

My career in television news began at a radio station in Melbourne 40 years ago this year. (40 years?? How did that...

Posted by Martie Salt WFTV on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Salt debuted on Channel 9 as a general assignment reporter in July 1981 and later anchored the noon and 5:30 p.m. newscasts -- a position she held for 12 years before moving to the ABC affiliate in Tampa in 1994.

In 2003, she rejoined Channel 9, where she co-anchored with Bob Opsahl, forming an iconic anchor team.

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"Whether on air or in the community, Martie exudes class," said Paul Curran, market vice president for Cox Media Group, Channel 9's parent company. "Her commitment to the people of Central Florida is unwavering.  Always unprompted, Martie has taken countless reporters under her wing during her career, offering advice, mentoring or just listening.  In the process, she’s helped grow the next breed of journalists."

One of the many highlights of Salt's career includes her Emmy Award-winning special "Blindsided," which focused on the financial and emotional pitfalls of assisted living for elderly parents.

She also won an Emmy Award for a special report on the toll stardom can take on child celebrities.

During her career, Salt has covered major stories, such as the first space shuttle launch and the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, and interviewed Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, and many celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Lucille Ball, Arnold Palmer, Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak and Dolly Parton.

She was born in Kentucky, she was raised in Miami and she graduated from Florida State University.

Click here or email martie.salt@wftv.com to congratulate Salt on her forthcoming retirement and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.