Breaking: Bill Carey Stepping Down as WPIX News Director, Likely for Internet Startup

WPIX news director Bill Carey, who is responsible for sweeping changes to the look and staff since joining the station in November 2009, is giving up his post. A well-placed source tells FishbowlNY that Carey is leaving Channel 11 before the November sweeps period. It is believed that Carey is fielding several offers, including from a startup company. Carey had no comment to FishbowlNY about a change to his job status.

In three years on the job, Carey made his imprint. Within a year, lead anchors Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong were displaced and Jodi Applegate was hired. Carey created a brand new newsroom set for Applegate.

Carey also made morning changes. Last summer, he brought Frances Rivera from Boston to co-anchor the PIX Morning News with veteran Sukanya Krishnan. Earlier this year, commentator Lionel was given hosting duties for the two-hour early edition of the morning news.

WPIX has traditionally trailed WNYW in the ratings. However, the Tribune flagship made inroads during the July sweeps period, edging Channel 5 for a portion of Good Day New York. As we reported earlier today, WPIX has been struggling due to a Cablevision retransmission dispute, leaving millions of customers without access to Channel 11 since mid-August.

From 1994 to 1999, Carey worked for WCBS-TV, including the last three years as news director. Yesterday marked the 16th anniversary of the Channel 2 “massacre.” Carey was at the helm of a major shake-up which included the firing of seven on-air staffers.

Carey spent time at WABC/Channel 7 as senior producer. He’s a 1979 graduate of Fordham University with a B.A. in communications.