Bill Shory, the former WBIR News Director sent a farewell message to his former staff at WBIR. In addition, he posted it on his Facebook page, essentially making it public. While the media believe that public officials (existing and former elected and appointed officials) actions are of interest. They should understand that their own actions are of interest as well.
I walked into my first TV newsroom twenty-four years ago, as an intern at the ripe old age of 16. Five years later, I took my first full-time producer job, and for every day of my life since then, I’ve been a television journalist. Friday was the first day that I was not.
I want to thank all of you for all the calls, emails, texts, Facebook messages, wall posts, tweets, and other shows of support. I also want to thank all of you who came to the various events on Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday night. Your kind words and your friendship have made more difference to Michelle and me than you will ever know.
Together, we have accomplished a lot over the past eight years. We’ve told a lot of compelling stories, we’ve broken some major news, and we’ve expanded our reach to platforms we couldn’t even have imagined when we started. We’ve gotten ratings and results on all of those platforms and all of our newscasts that almost every newsroom in the country can only dream of. We’ve hung together through arrivals and departures, and we’ve been there for each other during personal milestones, family additions, and family tragedies. Along the way, we brought Thanksgiving dinner to a devastated town, we reunited a family that a hurricane had torn apart, we brought some orphans home from Haiti, and we helped give two Knoxville heroes the homes they deserve. I will stand on that record any time, and I am so, so proud of all of you.
When we came to Knoxville, we got a mortgage that adjusted after five years, because we thought I’d never stay at WBIR that long. It’s been eight years, and I would have liked to stay longer. That’s not going to happen now, but I want you all to know this: I love WBIR, I love Straight from the Heart, and I gave it everything I had for every single day until they wouldn’t let me any more.
Now it’s time for a new challenge, but that doesn’t necessarily mean moving on. We’d love to stay here in Knoxville, and we’re exploring all the different ways we could make that possible. While that’s happening, I plan to enjoy the break – going to bed at 10:00 if I feel like it, not paying one lick of attention to the inner workings of county commission, and putting together puzzles with a kid who’s already becoming quite the Daddy’s girl. The next time a bad storm rolls through, it’ll be the first time I’ve ever been able to put my arms around my family when they’re huddled in the closet. But the TV in the next room will be turned to Channel 10. And I can’t wait to see what you all accomplish – on those days and all the others to come.
We very much want to keep in touch. You can still reach me at (XXX) XXX-XXXX or at XXXXXX@XXXXXl.com, (redacted to provide Mr. Shory privacy) and you can keep up with both Michelle and me on Facebook and, yes, Twitter. You’ll also probably run into me around town, hanging out with the two prettiest girls you’ll ever see.
Until then, goodbye, good luck, and Roll Tide.