URGENT: Bill Ward out at WJW

CORRECTION (04/01/2001 at 3:08PM): Art Lafredo, in fact, did retire from WJW three years ago… the post below has been amended to reflect the change. My apologies for the oversight.

Here’s a sample of Bill Ward’s work from the late 1970s, when he was at WEWS/5:

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OMW has learned that Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 is currently making a series of budget-related personnel cuts. Most of them are or will be behind-the-scenes staff, such as chyron operators and floor directors.

One of the cuts, however, is a very noticeable one… longtime booth announcer/voice-over talent Bill Ward.

Bill was among those dismissed from WJW after nearly 28 years with the station. His tenure at the station dates back to when the station still had the WJKW calls and was a CBS affiliate – and Howard Hoffman still lent his talents to voice the top-of-the-hour IDs. Prior to that, Bill enjoyed long stints as booth announcers for both Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 and at the old WGAR/1220 (yes, back when WGAR was on the AM dial with a Top 40 format).

And fans of the long-running “Big Chuck and Lil’ John” will automatically recognize Bill either in on-camera roles or for voice-over duties, essentially assuming those roles from original co-host Bob “Hoolihan” Wells. (This also means that after director/technician Art Lafredo retired three years ago, legendary meteorologist Dick Goddard is the only connection remaining to “Houlihan & Big Chuck & Lil’ John” left at South Marginal… er, Dick Goddard Way.)

Bill will be replaced by an internet-provided voice (and Bill’s voice will still exist in existing station promos or commercials) but for many viewers, that otherwise subtle change will be more than noticeable.

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6 Responses to URGENT: Bill Ward out at WJW

  1. Ed Smith says:

    It’s a shame that Bill is being let go by WJW, I would recognize his voice anywhere after hearing it for years and years on WJW (and even back when he was at WEWS!) I work at a television station in Mobile, Alabama and we ran some spots that he voiced for an RV dealership several months back. In this day and age, I would imagine that he would be a hot commodity in the freelance voice market and that many loyal clients of his will use him for years to come. I know I would love to use him for projects! (If I can afford him!)

  2. anonymous says:

    Lafredo retired years ago

  3. Ed says:

    It is strange how channel 8 can just put somone out to pasture because of cost-cutting measures, especially when they feel the need to have 10 on-air personalities to do a morning show: Wayne, Tracy, Stephanie, Scott, Angelica, Todd, Kenny, Kristi, and the computer guy (I can’t think of his name), and Stacy. Oh, and lets not forget about Val, who does the traffic that Kristi doesn’t do.(?)

    Channel 3 has a vey good morning show with primarily two people- Mark and Hollie, and maybe a few reporters from time to time….go figure

    • Secondary Editorial Voice (tm) says:

      For what it’s worth, Val Berry is an employee of Metro Networks at their Detroit facility and not at WJW proper. And the “computer guy” is Dan Jovic, who also does assorted web work for WJW and also occasionally does sportscasts as a fill-in.

      But then again, I still remember long ago when local news in the morning went from 5:30 to 7 or 9 am – not from 4:30 to 10am. Actually, it WAS not that long ago… hmm…

      • Ed says:

        That was no slam on Dan Jovic, I just couldn’t think of his name. About Val- she was at channel 8 doing a cooking segment last week, naturally I thought she was on the staff there.

        If a station just did the news and nothing else, ( and only did it once and not repeat themselves every hour) the show might be 20 minutes long, at the most….

  4. Brian Hilcu says:

    It’s a shame that WJW-TV8 is cutting their longtime Staff Announcer because of budget cuts! He’s been there for at least 25 years! I will certainly miss his voice on WJW-TV!

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