Nancy Callaway Fyffe, BA’72, is an Emmy Award-winning director who has spent her career breaking glass ceilings within the television industry. She was the first woman to direct television in both Indianapolis and Kansas City, and the first woman to direct primetime news for an ABC-owned station.
Fyffe was a pioneer for women directors from the start of her career. Upon graduating from IU in 1972 with a degree in radio and television, she joined WLWI-TV in Indianapolis directing news, documentaries, and local programming, becoming the first woman to direct television in Indianapolis. There she produced, wrote, and directed for the first ever broadcast documentary on women in prison.
After two years at WLWI, she was recruited to KMBC-TV in Kansas City, where she once again became that market’s first female television director.
No ABC-owned station had ever had a female primetime news director until 1978, when Fyffe landed her groundbreaking role at WLS-TV in Chicago. There, she directed primetime newscasts, ABC Sports, “Good Morning America,” and an Emmy-winning documentary expose on the funeral industry.
When Fyffe joined ABC Network at its New York headquarters in 1981, she was a full Directors Guild of America director. She worked for the network for six years, directing for ABC News special events, “World News Tonight,” and “Good Morning America.”
Fyffe developed and directed the Emmy-winning “Signature” series for A&E. She was also a special creative consultant for the Emmy-winning documentary “City Under Siege” for the Fox Network.
Nancy, and her late husband William Fyffe, founded Fyffe Callaway & Associates. The firm consulted broadcast television stations, providing news program critiques, program strategies and special reports, along with hiring and news department staffing decisions. Its clients have included KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, stations in the Sinclair Broadcast Group, and stations in the River City Broadcast Group. The firm also operated a placement service for on-air talent.
In 1997, she spent a year as the supervising producer for VH1 in New York. There she managed production and writing for all taped segments for air on the channel and for live specials.
Fyffe returned to Bloomington in 1998 to take the role of station manager for the PBS station WTIU-TV. She created the station’s news department, which produces daily on-air reports to this day and serves as a training ground for many Media School student interns.
Today, she is president of Fyffe Callaway & Associates, now a full-range creative consulting firm for broadcasting and other creative enterprises.
She is a dedicated and valued supporter of The Media School. She created the James E. Callaway Sr. Memorial Scholarship in honor of her father, a former faculty member in the School of Journalism. She serves on the school’s Dean’s Advisory Board and frequently visits classes to provide professional advice.