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Remembering Bill Carey
Written by Josh Cradduck   
Sunday, 09 August 2015 15:48

 

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Bill Carey, the hard-nosed reporter and former news director, known to generations of Central New York radio listeners and television viewers as the "Voice of Syracuse," died Friday night at Sloan Kettering cancer Center in New York. He was 61. He had been battling lung cancer since his diagnoses in October 2013. 

The Syracuse Press Club is deeply saddened by the news of Bill Carey's passing. The board of directors extends its warmest sympathies to Bill's wife MaryEllen and their three children.  A long list of the young people who got their first break in the business under Bill now populates the media in Syracuse and across the country. We join them in remembering and honoring one of the greatest reporters Central New York has and will ever know.

Bill is a Press Club Wall of Distinction honoree and is a recipient of the Syracuse Press Club’s Bliven-Ganley-Rossi Career Achievement Award. He had won three Emmys, six RTNDA Murrow Awards and dozens of awards from the Syracuse Press Club and New York Associated Press Broadcasters Association.
 
AN EARLY START

Bill’s career began in radio in at WMBO, in Auburn in 1971. He joined WHEN radio in 1974, and by 1976 he was the news director. This was a time when there was a fierce competition between the then independently owned WHEN and WSYR radio newsrooms. Bill led his young staff in often beating his competitors in radio and TV, and led them to numerous awards.

He expected excellence of his staff and of himself. It's late October, and it is test time in the WHEN radio newsroom. News Director Bill Carey is quizzing his staff of young reporters on their homework. They’ve been assigned the task of learning the contents of a loose-leaf book filled with radio scripts, newspaper clippings and other background information about the candidates on the ballot for the coming election. Bill wants his staff to know what they are talking about on election night and is making sure they are prepared.

 

 NO MATTER THE MEDIUM, JUST TELL THE STORY

When Bill moved from radio to TV in the mid-1980’s he quickly learned the medium and became one of the best visual storytellers in the market. He was a favorite of the news photographers who respected his focus, his creativity, and his keen understanding of the visual aspects of the medium.

He rose to the position of Executive Producer of WTVH, overseeing day-to-day operations of the Channel 5 newsroom. He later became News Director.

Under Bill’s leadership, WTVH continued its dominance in the ratings, and its dominance in news coverage. He led the station to an Emmy award for Best Newscast. As of 2007, the broadcast he oversaw on the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 was the only newscast from a non-New York City television station to win that category. Bill left his management duties behind when he left WTVH in 1993 to return to the role of a reporter. Bill picked up numerous awards while serving as a key player in WIXT (now WSYR) TV’s surge to dominance in the 1990s.

24/7 CABLE NEWS

After a brief return to radio, serving as anchor and news director of WSYR radio, Bill helped put Time Warner Cable’s all-news channel, News 10 Now on the air. He serves as senior reporter and field anchor for the operation. It’s a key position for the channel where many of the staff are new to the business. Bill serves as a mentor for the young staff and the go-to guy when major stories break.

While the 10th Mountain Division has the reputation of being the most deployed unit in the US military, Bill Carey is probably the most deployed journalist in Central New York. Bill has traveled with local military units to the Gulf War, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and to relief operations in Florida in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. Bill has traveled to London, Lockerbie, Germany Israel, Lebanon and Jordan to tell the story of Pan Am 103. He’s reported from Ground Zero, Pearl Harbor and the Vatican. He’s traveled with the Orangemen to bowl games (when they went to bowl games), and to political conventions. Few local reporters have as many stamps on their passports as does Bill Carey.

But he has also covered virtually every major local story in Central New York in the past 25 years. From political scandals, to plant closings, to the poignant tributes for fallen police officers, firefighters, and soldiers. He’s produced dozens of documentaries, including one that took viewers inside the conspiracy that sent former mayor Lee Alexander to prison.

Bill is survived by his wife MaryEllen and their three children. 

Last Updated ( Sunday, 09 August 2015 15:54 )
 
"Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take a little pill of news every day—23 minutes—and that’s supposed to be enough."
--Walter Cronkite

Wall of Distinction

Timothy Bunn

The Post-Standard

Timothy Bunn, a native Syracusan, recently retired in February 2007 from The Post-Standard after a 33-year newspaper career. Twenty-six of those years were spent working in Syracuse, for the evening Herald-Journal, Sunday Herald American and The Post-Standard.

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