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Dan Rea: Jack Williams 'Represented Stability' To Boston

BOSTON (CBS) - After 39 years behind the anchor desk, WBZ-TV's Jack Williams is stepping down from full-time anchor duties following Friday's newscast.

Dan Rea, host of NightSide on WBZ NewsRadio 1030, worked with Williams for decades. Rea started with WBZ Radio in 1974 and switched to WBZ-TV in 1976, a year after Williams began with the station.

Photos: Jack Williams Through The Years

With Williams full-time duties coming to a close, Rea reflected on what his longtime colleague meant to the station and the region.

"I think during some difficult times in Boston, during the Charles Stuart case in Boston in the early 1990s, Jack and Liz (Walker) together represented stability to this city. They were always there."

Jack Williams
Joyce Kulhawik, Jack Williams, and Liz Walker. (WBZ-TV)

"That's not to in any way denigrate the other great anchor teams in Boston. But Jack outlasted everyone, much to the surprise of just about everybody."

Rea said that even though Williams spent his time behind the anchor desk, he also had his finger on the pulse of the community he covered.

"Jack made it a point to spend time in Boston Saturdays and Sunday afternoons," said Rea. "He had a real sense for what the city was all about."

What stands out most to Rea about his longtime colleague is Williams' ability to take the news seriously, while not taking himself too seriously.

"Jack laughs at himself," said Rea. "But when you had a 9/11 story, when you had the Charles Stuart story, when you had the Marathon bombing story, those big stories that really compelled us to watch TV, Jack most often was the guy at the anchor desk."

Jack Williams
Jack Williams and Lisa Hughes. (WBZ-TV)

Though Williams is stepping down from full-time anchor duties, he will continue to have a major impact because of his Wednesday's Child segment.

Williams launched "Wednesday's Child" in 1981, a segment that airs each Wednesday at 6 p.m. and features a special needs child who is in search of a permanent home. During Williams' tenure, the segment has helped more than 800 special needs children find homes. The WBZ-TV anchor has also used Wednesday's Child to raise more than $10 million for special needs adoption.

"His legacy will continue for a long time," said Rea.


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