URGENT: Bill Ward out at WJW
March 31, 2011 6 Comments
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:
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.