Longtime Indianapolis broadcaster and local arts champion Jill Ditmire has died, according to WFYI news station. She was 56.
The 1986 Butler University graduate was a journalist in the Midwest for 25 years, according to the station, and played host to WFYI’s “Curious Mix,” “Indiana Outdoors” and “The Good Life.”
She also anchored WFYI’s “All Things Considered” program.
WFYI leadership said Ditmire brought a depth of knowledge to her work, and kept listeners plugged into the local arts scene through social media videos during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“Jill was a respected journalist and a tireless advocate for the Indianapolis arts community,” said WFYI CEO and President Greg Petrowich in a statement. “More than that, she was a friend and colleague and will be missed by all who knew her.”
Ditmire, a wine and food connoisseur, brought such knowledge to her broadcasting and local news career by authoring the “Wine Scene” column for the Broad Ripple Gazette and “Vintage Point” for the IndyStar. An American Wine Specialist-certified wine judge, Ditmire also owned the Mass Ave. Wine Shoppe and Cafe in downtown Indianapolis. She was once a finalist in the Pillsbury BakeOff.
In a statement, the Arts Council of Indianapolis said the entire arts community is “heartbroken and in shock.”
“Although Jill Ditmire has been reporting on the arts for a long time, she seemed to make it her primary mission the last few years,” the council wrote. “She made a point to be at an arts event almost every night of the week. On the surface, she was covering events, shows, and performances, but what she was really doing was learning about artists and artwork and sharing that curiosity.”
Prior to her work at Indianapolis’ NPR-affiliate, Ditmire had a long history in local anchoring and reporting across the Midwest, including WTTV, ARTV, ALFI, WJBK, WTHR, WISH and the Ford Motor Company News Network.
She taught Newswriting 101 at Butler University, according to the WFYI.
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This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: WFYI host, arts and culture ‘giant’ Jill Ditmire dies at 56