WBZ reporter Bill Shields died Friday night after a battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.
The station announced the news on its website, saying “Bill was a trusted reporter, a valued member of the community and a very popular figure in Boston television news.”
Shields retired from the Boston CBS owned station in 2021.
“We are heartbroken to lose our beloved and best father, brother and husband,” said Shields’ family in a statement. “He fought so courageously and without complaint until the end; he went out as soon as life was no longer going to be fun. He loved his friends and family and WBZ family beyond measure.”
Shields fought cancer more than once. Last November, he told the audience at an Upstage Lung Cancer event that he had a different kind of cancer and it’s a “longer haul.”
“I had the pleasure of working with Bill in the mid-late 2000s,” said WBZ president and general manager Justin Draper. “Bill had an amazing ability to tell personal stories with humanity, dignity, and grace. Bill was an incredible journalist and storyteller who also made us laugh along the way. Bill was a legend at WBZ, reporting for the station for more than 41 years before retiring in September 2021. My sympathies and prayers go out to all of Bill’s family and friends.”
“Knowing this day was coming doesn’t make it any easier. Bill was simply the best. I will miss everything about him – his humor, his energy, his joy for life. Just thinking of his laugh makes me smile on a day when I am so, so sad. Rest in peace, Billy. We love you,” said WBZ anchor Lisa Hughes.
“One thing I’ll always remember about Bill is how helpful he was to me as a young reporter,” said WBZ anchor David Wade. “One day, on the streets doing interviews, I embarrassed myself with a dumb question to an official. Some of the more experienced reporters had a good chuckle. I felt like a dope. Bill, who I only knew from TV, pulled me aside on a bench and gave me a few pointers and a couple of laughs. Later, I would have the honor of working with him – and believe me it was a true honor. Great reporter and even better guy.”
“Bill Shields took a bite out of life. He was my friend, but truly – he was everyone’s friend. A Texas boy who embraced New England, and LOVED telling stories here. Can’t even think of him without a smile,” WBZ anchor Paula Ebben tweeted.
Shields leaves behind his wife and their three sons, Raphael, Justin and Tyler.