Tag Archives: retirement

Fox 6’s Bill Bolen retires

Anchorman Bill Bolen, a fixture in Birmingham television and radio for 56 years, signed off today after 41 years with Fox 6. The 81-year-old Selma native ended his long career on the morning show “Good Day Alabama.”

Gov. Riley declared today as “Bill Bolen Day.” Mayor William Bell presented him with a key to the city.

Bolen graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor of arts degree in radio arts. He served in the Air Force and worked different positions in Birmingham radio, including at WSGN (610 AM). He started on television with CBS affiliate WBMG (now WIAT) in 1965, joining WBRC-6 in 1969.

General manager Lou Kirchen said [video]:

In a time, when we may believe that chivalry is dead, we only have to look at the life of Mr. Bolen to know that’s not so. He will be long remembered for his generous smile, his deep, warm voice, his sense of humor, his faith and its manifestation in his commitment to our community. We are really going to miss you Mr. B.

Bolen received the American Cancer Society’s Life Inspiration Award in 1997 after surviving his own bout with the disease.

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Birmingham News cutting back

Birmingham News

Birmingham News

Also: Newhouse shutting down wire service

Some are calling 2008 the worst year ever for newspapers, citing declines in ad revenues.

Like many newspapers this year, the Birmingham News is trimming its operations by offering buyouts and early retirement to employees:

The Birmingham News Co. is offering voluntary buyouts or early retirement to a limited number of employees, Publisher Victor Hanson III said Friday. The issue is revenue, not readership, Hanson stressed. “Our readership is as high as it has been since 2004, and our online home at al.com is the most-visited local Web site in Alabama,” he said. The number of buyouts will depend on how many employees accept the offer, he said, but it will be limited by department and job category to protect the essential missions of the newspaper to inform and serve the community.

Meanwhile, Newhouse News Service is shutting down after Election Day.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newhouse News Service, a supplemental wire service founded in 1961, will close on Nov. 7, after the election.

The news service is also the Washington bureau of Advance Publications Inc. of New York, which owns 26 daily newspapers.

“The decision to close followed the direction of our clients, the editors of our papers,” said Linda Fibich, editor and Washington bureau chief. “They felt they could not afford to pay for a central Washington bureau at a time when they were steering all available resources to local coverage back at home.”

The news service has 24 employees. Of those, 11 are reporters who write for specific newspapers and “are being offered opportunities to join the staffs of those newspapers,” Fibich said. “Whether the individual papers maintain a presence in Washington is up to each individual paper.”

Advance Publications owns both the wire service and the Birmingham News. Fortunately, Washington correspondent Mary Orndorff will continue her beat for the News, even as NNS folds.