Remembering Sioux City TV icon Dave Nixon, Sr.

Nixon passed away, in Emmetsburg, Iowa, on January 17th at the age of 83
Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 9:20 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EMMETSBURG, Iowa (KTIV) - A “celebration of life” will be held in April for former KTIV and KCAU news anchor Dave Nixon, Sr. Nixon died January 17th, at his Emmetsburg, Iowa, home at the age of 83.

Nixon’s remarkable career spanned decades in both radio and TV. Not just in Sioux City, but in Minneapolis and Des Moines, as well.

KTIV’s Matt Breen took a look back on Nixon’s broadcasting legacy.

In a 2002 interview, Dave Nixon, Sr. remembered growing up outside Dakota City, Nebraska, where he could see the lights of a nearby radio broadcast tower. Little did Nixon know that he’d later work at that station-- KMNS Radio-- and at two local television stations, as well, becoming an icon of the industry.

Nixon’s television career started at KCAU-TV in 1972. Six years later, he left for a job at WHO-TV, in Des Moines.

But, it wasn’t long before KTIV General Manager Bill Turner convinced Nixon to come back to Sioux City, and Channel 4. That was 1980. At KTIV, Nixon anchored coverage of some of the biggest events of the day. From a 1986 tornado outbreak, to the fateful day United Airlines Flight 232 crashed at Sioux Gateway Airport.

In a 2009 conversation with Nixon, on the 20th anniversary of the crash, the veteran broadcaster told Breen the emotions were almost overwhelming. “I had to fight the emotions throughout that afternoon, throughout that entire ordeal,” said Dave Nixon, Sr. “I would catch myself squeezing the anchor desk.” 112 people died in the crash. But, miraculously, 184 survived.

When Breen and Nixon spoke again, in 2014, on the 25th anniversary of the crash, Nixon told hime crash of Flight 232 changed his life.”Today could be your last day, so you’re going to live your life in the way that I believe I have done by enjoying everything in life because it could be my last day,” said Dave Nixon, Sr.

“18-months after the crash, Nixon left KTIV to move into education. He started the broadcasting program at Iowa Lakes Community College. He later served as the executive dean of the college’s Emmetsburg campus. Nixon then moved to Michigan to take a job as president of a Monroe County Community College.