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Gene Cox Defects to Channel 8 

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST

Coming out of semiretirement, veteran newsman Gene Cox is getting back into the anchor chair next month — at a rival of the television station he served for 33 years.

A longtime face of the news at NBC-12 (a face that notably eschewed makeup) Cox will guest co-anchor the 5:30 p.m. newscast at ABC affiliate WRIC-TV 8 alongside Amy Lacey.

"I'm excited by the new challenge," he says.

Cox's Channel 8 gig is scheduled to start Aug. 1 and last at least three months. That means it will almost completely miss the sweeps periods — June 28 to July 25, and Oct. 25 to Nov. 21 — when Nielsen samples TV viewing to determine ratings.

NBC-12 held a sendoff for Cox last June. Since then, he's worked off and on with the station, spent time on the release of his book "The Inventor," and shared his musings through his blog and Twitter feeds.

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