Tomorrow’s 5:00 p.m. newscast will be the last for Jack Williams. He’s leaving WBZ after 40 years at the CBS-owned station.
“New Englanders take a long time to get to like you. But, boy, once they do,” Williams said about the viewers who see him more like a neighbor and less like a celebrity.
The Boston Globe reports Williams plans on “just enjoying life.”
On his first day in May 1975, Williams reported on Boston’s busing program. “I jumped in with both feet,” he said.
Since then, he hunkered down in the office to cover the Blizzard of ’78 (he wore the same clothes for four days and subsisted on candy bars) and he traveled to Normandy to report on New England veterans.
Williams also introduced Wednesday’s Child, a program that has helped more than 800 special-needs children find homes.
Through it all, Williams, originally from Idaho, said he has come to love the Northeast, particularly the local passion for news. “In the old days,” he said, “you could almost see a power surge at 6 and 11.”
Then came the Boston Marathon bombings. “It hit me to my soul,” he said. As part of the WBZ team that covered the bombings and the aftermath, Williams was awarded a Columbia DuPont Award and a Peabody Award. “It made you very proud,” he said. “How the victims responded, and how people rallied around the victims.”
Watch him talking about how Boston has changed since he started at WBZ.