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IceManNYR

Diana Williams Retiring this Fall

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If they want to stick with 4 anchors at noon and evenings, then it should be:

Noon & 5pm: David & Liz

4pm, 6pm, & 11pm: Bill & Sade

 

Or if they keep Shirleen at noon and bring back Ken to the noon, then it should be:

4pm & 6pm: David & Liz

5pm & 11pm: Bill & Sade

 

My guess is that Bill may be next on the retirement list, hence why they brought in the new guy to get ready for that.

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While we have this speculation game, I want to go back to something else for a few minutes. 

 

Diana WIlliams is leaving after 29 years at WABC. When she took over the job working with Bill Beutel in 1992, she replaced the maligned tenure of Susan Roesgen, who was hired after they decided to not renew Kaity Tong's contract in 1990. (Diana was working at WABC at the time, but in a different role.) During Roesgen's tenure Eyewitness News gained a stronger audience, but Diana WIlliams took over and has been a steadying presence at the anchor desk, which saw so many changes. Old names like Roz Abrams, John Johnson, (the late) Bill Beutel and all retired or left for other stations. She has seen new names come in, including her partner at 5 PM, Sade Baderinwa. She and Bill Ritter really are the faces of the station at the anchor desk and while they hadn't been an official team in several years, when Diana would sit in with Bill or vice versa, they still fit incredibly well. They guided us through 9-11, and it takes a lot for adults to handle this. 

 

It takes a lot to make it in the NY market. Diana came in during a tenuous time at Channel 7 and succeeded. Unlike Susan and Kaity, she gets to go out on her own terms. Diana is a true professional and while I am only 28, I grew up with her and Bill Beutel (and later Bill Ritter) on my TV screen. I was watching Channel 7 on 9-11 after I was yanked from school like many people my age. Diana Williams has been that fixture at Channel 7 and now losing her is going to make it incredibly hard to replace her. No matter who does it, Diana Williams is etched in Channel 7 forever, probably right behind Roger and Bill Beutel. 

 

Thanks to 29 years and I will be watching in September. :)

 

 

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I suspect Bill covering the 5, 6, and 11 won’t last long. Maybe a year. 

 

If this new hire Mike Marza is indeed going to be an anchor/reporter (i.e. a weekend anchor and weekday reporter), I suspect we may see some shuffling. 

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Perhaps Bill will retire soon and Mike Maraza will take his place or maybe Bill in a year or so will only anchor at 5 and Mike will take his place at 6 and 11. 

Diana should co-anchor the 9/11 memorial coverage with Bill. It would be quite fitting for that to be last event she co-anchors given her role covering 9/11 with Bill nearly 18 years ago.

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Well the time has come and we are nearing the end of our friend, the great Diana Williams' tenure at WABC. Tomorrow is her final day as an anchor at WABC. I wonder what special coverage they will have for her to honor her. And what a true class act she was. Diana delivered the news to us with such poise and grace . Really her motherly qualities and her innate kindness cultivated in her delivery of the news and she did not let her troubles and problems get to her when she was tested emotionallywith her husband and her son's health struggles.

 

It will be fitting to see her final moments on WABC anchor with Bill as they were the model team in the late 90s and early 2000s in the wake of Bill Beutel. They followed some big shoes to fill and they did it with such grace. When I think of WABC I always think of Diana Williams and Bill Ritter especially after 9/11 when I was in the 8th grade watching that broadcast, and one can't forget how she covered Hurricane Sandy in Road Cam 7. I think that was one of the highlights of her career because when I watched her report she had an effect of making me feel calm like everything is going to be okay. What an incredible woman she is and the reason why her family is doing so well is because they are survived by her grace. I will miss her dearly.  

Edited by Vlad
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Diana was a true professional in this game.. 29 years in New York City television is not an easy fate. However, she gets to go out in style. When I think of Eyewitness News.

it's Diana and Bill. Their reporting styles are similarly alike, but the way Diana reports the news is different. For a lot of those anchors that came in during the 80's and early 90's under the leadership of Bill Beutel (RIP).. She definitely represented and filled in good shoes. Congratulations and enjoy retirement.

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Today was a wonderful tribute. I have a ton of screenshots I can work on a little later, but wonderful job by WABC on this. 

 

 

I'm going to miss Diana, I grew up with her and Bill Beutel and Bill Ritter on my TV screen for years. 

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That 5:00 newscast was amazing, probably the best send off we’ve seen. Nice job by channel 7 to celebrate and recognize and amazing career. 

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Absolutely wonderful sendoff. Hit all the right notes — including Diana’s farewell message and the standing ovation in the  studio filled with her family, colleagues and viewers. 

 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen WABC send off someone in that fashion but I’m glad they did it for Diana. She truly deserved it. She is and always will be Eyewitness News. 

 

Edited by wabceyewitness

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1 hour ago, mountainave said:

Does anyone know if there is a recording of the newscast (or its tribute-related segments) posted?

A simple look at the most obvious place you’d find that would answer your question.

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Gotta share this sweet story to this beautiful era ending. Back in 2013, I went to the station's town hall meeting. It was at the Brooklyn museum in the auditorium. After the event, the participants took time to take photos with the audience. I was courageous enough to approach Diana for the photo + she was accommodating enough to do so. Afterwards, she said to effect of 'it's so nice to see Someone as handsome as you are'. I said 'Oh thank you'.  Off I go, shell shocked a bit. You're talking about someone who you've watched for years + complimenting you as such. I'm not the one fishing for complements mind you.

 

In the blurry photo below from my fb, my hair looked like wooly mammoth in a big explorer coat (it was February + I was bigger then) Now one may have said it just to butter up someone, coming from tv, but knowing her demeanor + class, it matched with her coming from a good place. It leaves a mark on my mind forever. That in part is how I'll remember Diana + I wish her nothing but the best. WABC has raised the standard of personnel farewells like the late great WPLJ raised the standard of signoffs this past may. 

 

Side note: one other photo I tried to take was investigative reporter Jim hoffer. As I was setting up my cheap ass Kodak vid shaped 'hd' camera to shoot, battery ran out + I told him as such + he said, 'ah shit, man'. Nonetheless meeting him briefly was a pleasure. Such a good night.

FB_IMG_1568343545962.jpg

Edited by justin2kx
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10 hours ago, TVNewsLover said:

A simple look at the most obvious place you’d find that would answer your question.

 

9 hours ago, 24994J said:

I was gonna say. If only there was a place, perhaps archived in the digital world, where all those videos would be compiled for later viewing.

 

Oh well, I guess technology isn't there, yet.

 

(https://abc7ny.com/careers/celebrating-eyewitness-news-anchor-diana-williams/5534500/)

 

 

Thank you for your polite and welcoming answers.

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1 hour ago, mountainave said:

 

 

 

Thank you for your polite and welcoming answers.

Sorry, wasn’t trying to be rude, guess I could see how it came off that way. I just see people on this site asking where to find stuff all the time that takes an ounce of thinking to find on their own. It’s like they’re too lazy to think (not directed at you, just speaking generally).

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Wow what a moving video, an incredible send off that I quite frankly never seen any station do. WABC did it right. This send off made me tear up a bit. I try not to cry when I see these things, but I honestly did because it was so moving to see how much she was so caring to others and how connected her colleagues, and viewers are with her. I will always remember her. Seeing all of these kind words from her colleagues, friends and family is a testament and a reflection of how she shared her heart and grace with those she touched. Wow, what incredible human. It is not too often we come across incredible people like her, and I am so proud that I have been able to watch her for all of these years. She will be missed and I love you Diana Williams and keep sharing your heart and spreading your kindness forever. 

Edited by Vlad
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Well congratulations to the incomparable Diana Williams! 29 years at one station...and the number 1 station in the number 1 Market is unheard of! I’m wishing her a great and relaxing retirement! She definitely deserves it! 

 

SN: When did they change the monitor wall behind the anchor desk? 

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I think Bill Ritter takes Diana, for the 5PM weekday newscast, and he can still anchor the 6PM & 11PM weekday newscasts.

 

Which could be a right idea!!!

Edited by mooneyhill1
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