KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Thursday marked WBIR's 65th anniversary as a television station, and one of the legends who gave so much to this station and to the East Tennessee community decided to pay us a visit to help us celebrate: our Anchor Emeritus, Bill Williams!
"I'm excited to be here on the 65th anniversary of WBIR. I can't believe we're that old... well, we're not that old. Some of us are!" he said.
Bill began his career at WBIR in 1977 before semi-retiring in 2000. He would eventually return to his spot at the anchor desk for most of 2006 before officially "retiring."
Bill looked back fondly at his career at WBIR spanning several decades and shared some of his best memories. His favorite assignments were some that left a long-lasting impact in the lives of others here in East Tennessee -- from his series on the Monday's Child adoption program, his continued work with Mission of Hope, and the yearly Friends Across the Mountains telethon. He said his most exhilarating moment came in 1993 when he was sent on special assignment to cover the inauguration of President Bill Clinton and Tennessee-native Vice President Al Gore.
Through it all, though, Bill said it was the people that made WBIR so special. He still keeps in touch with his friends, including fellow WBIR legend Carl Williams.
"My 'brother,' Carl Williams. People think we're brothers... well we are. We're brothers at heart. Carl is doing fine, and he wanted to share his best. He was the first voice. The first announcing voice that the viewers heard: 'This is WBIR.'"
Of course, everyone always wants to know what Bill is up to in his retirement. He said he is still living the good life taking care of his cat and spending time in East Tennessee with his friends and family!
"It's a thrill to be here, believe me."