|Warnell family photo|
He was 62.
Warnell was born in South Bend on Nov. 5, 1950. After graduating from Indiana University, he was recruited by news station WINZ in Miami, where in 1976 he began his 30-year career as a reporter. His career continued on WIOD when the competing radio stations became part of the same ownership group in 1996.
Mr. Warnell's folksy reporting style made it easy for people to understand the intricacies of an event or issue, said former WINZ editor Herb Sierra. His work earned several Associated Press broadcasting awards, and he was a frequent guest on the Nancy Grace cable TV program, lending insight to Florida issues with a national interest.
After leaving WINZ/WIOD in 2006, he became spokesman for the Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office. In 2009, he moved back to South Bend to care for his parents and began working at CBS television affiliate WSBT, where he was employed until his death.
He was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. Warnell went into remission for nearly eight years, and while undergoing chemotherapy, managed to work full time and attend graduate classes at the University of Miami, earning a master's degree in 2005.