First Coast News, WJXX-ABC 25/WTLV-NBC 12 | Oct. 2011 - March 2013

Positions held: Digital Director (Oct. 2011/Dec. 2012), Automotive Columnist (Nov. 2011/March 2013) | Location: Jacksonville, Fla. 

 

Bill headed the digital media efforts at WJXX-ABC 25 and WTLV-NBC 12, known collectively as First Coast News, following a large downsizing at the Times-Union. He returned to the T-U in April of 2013.

While at the Gannett television stations, his flagship product, firstcoastnews.com,  enjoyed consistent growth each quarter, while mobile saw increases of more than 100%.



He directly supervised a team of four but worked with all departments, especially news.  Bill oversaw the editorial and production aspects of FCN's Web and mobile products as well as many of the stations' social media efforts.

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He led a statewide Gannett effort to create a political application that featured contributions from every Florida Gannett newspaper and TV station in the state.  Political Florida was launched in time for Jacksonville's presidential debate, which was held ahead of the Florida primary.  The app was available on Android, iPad, iPhone, mobile and Windows Phone.

Bill also brought integrated social contesting to the stations.  A few of the Facebook contests he's produced include a TV giveaway, tablets giveaway, cutest baby photos and others.  He worked to increase interactive television with such things as a text-to-win gas contest and text-to-vote during newscasts.

The First Coast News Facebook page regularly led in terms of Likes among all Jacksonville media during his tenure as Digital Director, growing by 54.3%. The stations were active on other social platforms as well such as Twitter, Pinterest and Get Glue.



Among his accomplishmentswas the creation of an automotive section called First Coast Gears, which began averaging more than 100,000 page views per month within six months.  

He planned and implemented an Olympics website in partnership with NBC. It included live video chats from London and many other interactive features. Other launches included The Country Channel 24/7 webpage for WTLV-TV 12.2 as well as heading up the digital elements of special projects coverage such as the 26.2 with Donna to Finish Breast Cancer and Operation Sandy Relief, which raised more than 15,000 pounds of supplies for people in the Northeast affected by the October 2012 hurricane.

ABC 25 News - WJXX-ABC 25 | 1997 - 1999 

Position: News Producer and Web Producer | Location: Jacksonville, Fla. 

 

Bill was an afternoon newscast and Web producer at  WJXX-ABC 25 in Jacksonville.  Bill and WJXX  launched the most technologically advanced news operation in Jacksonville's history in December of 1997. He line produced the very first edition of ABC 25 News at 6.  In May of 1998 Bill went on to produce ABC 25 News at 5.   ABC 25 News at 5 was expanded to an hour within a month of Bill taking over the newscast.  In addition to producing, Bill was responsible for updating the WJXX Web site .  He also did cross promotions between the TV news side and the Web site.  

Bill put in his resignation at WJXX-ABC 25 in April of 1999 to pursue a full-time Web based career.  He agreed to stay on at WJXX until a suitable replacement could be hired and trained.  His last day as a full time employee at WJXX was July 16, 1999, when he completed training his replacement.  

Bill returned to ABC 25 Online on a free-lance basis in September of 1999 to provide continuous Internet news updates on Hurricane Floyd.

Gannett announced it was buying WJXX in December of 1999.  The deal was completed the following March.   Gannett closed down the ABC 25 News operation on the day it took over.  News produced by WTLV-NBC 12 is now simulcast on ABC 25.

When WJXX debuted ABC 25 News, it  was a state of the art television station that used DVC PRO digital gear, commercial playback file servers, a Devlin designed set and robotics. The ABC 25 weather lab was unparalleled.  It featured Jacksonville's first Live Doppler Radar.  ABC 25 News also provided Jacksonville viewers with the market's only helicopter coverage.  When WTLV took over, the helicopter operation was suspended.

Eyewitness News - WBRE-NBC 28 |  1986-1988

News Producer | Location: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa.

 

Bill was in charge of the six and 11pm editions of Eyewitness News at WBRE.
He won Second Place for Best Medium Market Newscast in Pennsylvania as judged by the Associated Press.

Bill also did occasional field reporting during his first year and a half at the NBC affiliate.

Experience

TV 3 News - KESQ-ABC 3 (Channel 42) | 1996 - 1997

News Director | Location: Palm Springs, Calif.

 

Bill headed up the 29 person KESQ news department. He was in charge of all aspects of the #1 Nielsen-rated (during his tenure) Palm Springs, Calif. newsroom operation. His duties included providing editorial direction and leadership along with handling all news department hiring, budgeting, and scheduling.

He was responsible for implementing station goals and projects related to the news department. Among Bill's accomplishments at KESQ was the creation of TV 3 First News at 4:30, which led to a news staff expansion.

Bill also successfully lobbied ABC News to have KESQ designated as one of only six affiliate beta test sites in the country for the network's desktop video news feed service.

Fox 26 News - KRIV-Fox 26 | 1988-1996

Positions held: Asst. News Director, Interim News Director, News Producer | Location: Houston

 

As Assistant News Director at Fox 26, Bill provided editorial and production direction for a newsroom staff of 87. He handled newsroom personnel matters, scheduling, etc. and aided in the creation of Fox News 7am, including the concept and production of opens, bumps, music, set design and format of the newscast. He worked with Delphi to develop a World Wide Web site for the station.

Bill was also in charge of obtaining a new news set for KRIV. He handled that project from start to finish, including the bidding process. Bill produced newscasts and handled special project events as needed. He served as Interim News Director during his news director's maternity leave. He was also in charge of the station's internship program.

Before becoming Asst. News Director, Bill was the producer of Fox News 12:30. Bill joined KRIV as the midday producer in September of 1988. He was responsible for the editorial, production and graphic content of Fox News 12:30.

His duties included approving scripts, assignments, and video. He also timed the newscast and determined story placement.

Bill produced other newscasts as needed and won an Associated Press Honorable Mention for Best Spot News Newscast in the State of Texas (large market category).

Other producing highlights included taking the show on the road for the Economic Summit and the Republican National Convention.

Action News - WBNG-CBS 12 |  1985-1986

Asst. News Producer/Reporter | Location: Binghamton, N.Y.

 

Bill started his career at WBNG in March of 1985 as the Associate Producer of the noon edition of Action News.

After working on the noon show, Bill reported for the 6pm edition in the afternoons. He also served as a fill-in anchor for Action News Morning Edition.

Bill produced the six & 11pm editions of Action News during his final month at WBNG.

Awards and Education

 

Journalism, websites, television and other forms of multimedia require teamwork.  So while Bill is proud of the achievements listed below, he gratefully acknowledges that the honors are the result of teamwork and that his colleagues deserve much of the credit.

 

August 2015 - William S. Morris IV Innovation Award - Honored for work on Value Added Measure databases on teacher quality.

July 2014 - Third Place Niche Site/Channel - Awarded by the Florida Society of News Editors for local automotive car culture story, video and photo coverage at jacksonville.com/gears.

 

November 2010 - Times-Union Employee of the Month nominee - For mobile marketing campaign that included a car giveaway and resulted in more than 890,000 smartphone app impresssions.

January 2004 - Best Overall News site/Digital Edge Awards - Jacksonville.com, the Web site for The Florida Times-Union was named the best overall news site in the 75,000 to 250,000 print circulation category by the National Association of America's New Media Federation.

May 2003 - Davis Productivity Award - The Davis Productivity Awards recognize state government employees whose work significantly increases productivity and promotes innovative ways to deliver services. In this case the award was given to FDLE and Jacksonville.com for a public/private partnership Web site, First Coast Fugitives, which Bill designed and served as project leader on. The Web site brought together more than dozen law enforcement agencies to help catch fugitives across the First Coast.



November 2002 - Times-Union Employee of the Month -  For overall good work.



June 2001 - Times-Union Employee of the Month -  For simultaneously launching two major projects for Jacksonville.com (Stormtrack2001.com & GetJaxWheels.com) while maintaining his day-to-day duties.



January 2000 - Best Overall News site/Digital Edge Awards - Jacksonville.com, the Web site for The Florida Times-Union was named the best overall news site in the 75,000 to 250,000 print circulation category by the National Association of America's New Media Federation. 

June 2000 - Jacksonville.com won first place in online services for the Division A category of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editor's 2000 Journalism Competition. Division A is for newspapers with daily circulation above 125,000.

1990 - Honorable Mention for Best Spot News Newscast in the State of Texas (large market category) as judged by the Associated Press for producing Fox News 12:30 on KRIV-Fox 26 in Houston.

1988 -  Second Place for Best Medium Market Newscast in Pennsylvania as judged by the Associated Press for producing Eyewitness News at 6.

Education/University of Delaware | Bachelor of Arts Degree, 1984 | Newark, DE
After graduating from Wilmington's Salesianum High School in 1980, Bill went on to attend the University of Delaware. He had picked up his interest in broadcast journalism while in high school,  deciding on a Major in English with a concentration in Journalism. Bill soon became a writer for The Review, which was the University's bi-weekly newspaper.



The paper had an average circulation of about 18,000. In his senior year he was one of 25 students admitted to the Communications Department's WTV program. WTV, which stood for Winter Term Television, was a daily newscast run by University students and cablecast on Rollins Cablevision.

Bill served as a reporter for WTV. In addition to juggling classes, WTV, The Review, and an internship at WHYY-TV 12, Bill also worked at the Ferris School For Boys and the Memorial Division of the Wilmington Medical Center, now known as  Christina Care Health System to pay for his education.

In May of 1984 Bill graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. In the fall of 1999 Bill returned to school, attending New Horizons Computer Training Center in Jacksonville.

He studied software programs such as Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, CorelDRAW, PowerPoint and others.

Jacksonville.com/The Florida Times-Union |  1999 - 2011, 2013 - Present

Positions held: Digital Engagement Specialist, Homepage Editor, Content Manager, Multimedia Manager, Asst. Managing Editor - Online News, Online News Editor | Location: Jacksonville, Fla.

 

Bill has held a variety of positions at The Florida Times-Union and Morris Communications (TU parent company) during rapid-fire editorial, technological and business change.  He served as Content Manager, focusing on mobile and other digital products for Jacksonville.com. Project leader roles included guiding the development of Jacksonville.com and Augusta Chronicle applications for iPad, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and HP webOS.  He also produced page A2 of The Florida Times-Union, wrote an automotive blog and podcast as well as coordinated projects with a variety of vendors and media partners. He's currently a Jacksonville.com homepage editor and a digital producer for jacksonville.com and staugustine.com, focusing on social and multimedia.  He was previously an automotive columnist/reporter for The Times-Union and website. His column, First Coast Gears, quickly became a staple in Jacksonville's automotive enthusiast community; generating more than 100,000 page views per month.

Bill decided in 1999 to make the full-time jump from television news to the Internet, joining The Florida Times-Union's Internet Department as the Online News Editor of Jacksonville.com.   He quickly transformed the site into an up-to-the-minute news source, instilling the sense of urgency that has become commonplace on websites today.  One of the first changes Bill made was instituting time stamps on the homepage to let Web users know at a glance how recently a story had been published or updated.

He launched The Midday Update in August 2001, which guaranteed users a completely fresh homepage by lunch time.  

Bill was also instrumental in helping The Times-Union develop a news partnership with WJXX-ABC 25 and WTLV-NBC 12.  He helped print reporters make the transition to multimedia platforms and also helped the newspaper build a TV studio.

Bill  designed and launched Jacksonville.com's first co-branded website with First Coast News,  Stormtrack.tv, which has since been retired.  Following that success,  a co-branded election site, also retired, was launched.



Another venture Bill launched and was in charge of was Jacksonville.com's trio of retired Internet radio stations, known collectively as RadioJax.  They featured adult contemporary, modern country and urban music.  Each station's music format was supplemented with local news, weather, sports, community and automotive programming. RadioJax also marked the launch of Jacksonville.com's first smartphone app.

Perhaps one of the most important projects Bill undertook was the creation of First Coast Fugitives. The website is a public/private partnership that brings together more than a dozen law enforcement agencies.  Web users can quickly access a database of fugitives in their area and e-mail or phone in tips to law enforcement.

Before they were converged, Bill also acted as the liaison between the Times-Union News and Digital Media departments.