Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Disturbing News

Late this afternoon, Bill Williams shared the news on Facebook that he had been fired from his job at 98.5 The Cat. Here is his statement, as it appeared on his Facebook page:
Well, I was fired this morning. I was part of a nation-wide blood bath that saw a lot of radio people get fired.
So much for working a 70 hour week and doing the work of 10 people, and not complaining about it.
When it all comes down to it, I was just a number on a spreadsheet, with a salary that needed to be eliminated.
What I'm really sorry about, is the area will suffer now, without any station that will serve them. Although The Cat, Oldies, and 1230 are owned by a huge company, it was me, and me alone, that kept them serving the area, and informed.
Starting tomorrow, don't know what you can expect in the way of LOCAL news, because I won't be writing and gathering it anymore.
Not sure what my future will bring. In the old days, you could just go to the station across the street. Now, all the stations seem to be owned by the same person.
It's been a pleasure serving you all.
I have to confess I never listened to 98.5 The Cat, preferring instead WAMC, but I followed 98.5 The Cat on Facebook and was amazed by the news--both aggregated and original--that it brought me. More than one post on Gossips was inspired by local news shared by Williams, and I was honored to have Williams consider me a fellow newsperson. Representing The Cat, he was ubiquitous and indefatigable, appearing in every parade, supporting every worthy cause, and remarkably always being on the spot when news was happening--even, when I was trying to get help for the mangy foxes in the cemetery, alerting me to early morning fox sightings on Ten Broeck Lane as he made his way to work. 

Reacting to the news, Sam Pratt commented on Facebook, "The station's owners plainly don't realize that Williams was central to their identity. Or don't care." I share that sentiment and add my own: This really sucks.


  1. Wonder if it was bought up by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

    They are buying up all the media and dumbing down America.

  2. Another sad day indeed as yet another source of "local" news is lost. Although short on detail you could log on or tune in on a daily basis to see what had happened over night on the local scene. With the Register Star evolving in to irrelevancy with its lack of local news Williams offered another option. An unfortunate sign of the times as many get their "news" from Twitter and Facebook. Gone are the good old days when people patiently waited for the afternoon Register Star to hit Basen's and other local Mom and Pop stores around 3 PM. EVERYTHING you wanted or needed to know was at your ink stained finger tips.Also relegated to the memory bank are the days of local radio where you tuned in for school closings, live fire bulletins and the daily bartering on "Party Line " ! If you are a long time local you will remember. All that remains now is IHEART Radio group formerly Clear Channel. A large corporation that owns over 85O "local" stations. If you tune in to 93.5 this morn you will be treated to "Billy and Judi" broadcasting from who knows where ! What do you expect from genius management that continues to fill hours of weekend air time with ancient repeated Casey Kasem and Dick Clark broadcasts????? Best of luck to you Bill Williams .

  3. The internet, the far right and Alexa killed the radio star. In my mind and in my car.

  4. That is a shame, good luck to Bill. News reporting is going the way of crystal radios, records, VHS, CD's,
    real fabrics and everything else. Big Brother will be here if he isn't already.

  5. Lets be clear. This, and all the other layoffs​ across the country, wouldn't have been possible without the Trump administration. In 2017, the newly configured FCC scraped the "main studio rule". Now you can beam homogenized, ideologically pure information to all your small to medium media markets from central office. Welcome to our brave new world.

  6. That's awful! Does anyone know Bill Williams personally, or have contact info? I'd like to reach out to him. REBECCA WOLFF

  7. I must say that this is a drastic blow to the locals of Columbia County. I have known Bill a great number of years and his devotion to his job is impossible to replace.. His role in supplying us with all local news immediately was a great value to me as I am sure every radio listener. Oldies 93.5 will not be the same without you. I wish you all the best Bill.

  8. This a clearly a very drastic blow to the locals of Columbia County. Bill has been there for his listeners everyday since forever ago. I am sure this station will not be the same without Bills love that was poured into his every moment of broadcasting. I will certainly miss waking up to Bill Williams as I am sure much of the community will agree. Wishing you all the best Bill.

  9. Bill is Back on Hudsonvalley360.