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I have had many tasks in this life that were difficult, many rewarding, some frustrating but writing this letter is proving to be one of the most difficult for me personally, that I have ever faced.

Just under 35 years ago, May 14, 1975, I did my first radio talk show. Since that time I have worked with hundreds of people, had some marvelous experiences and some very difficult ones. This one is most difficult.

After a great deal of thought, I have concluded, as has been said many times, “all things come to an end”, and this is true for me of my radio career. As a consequence, it is my painful chore to announce with much regret that March 5th, will be my last Network broadcast. I’ve been assured by the people providing the satellite and other services that they will work with me to allow me to give this two weeks notice to all of our stations for which I am grateful. I am confident given the huge amount of offerings available that you will have no difficulty in finding a replacement for my program. Indeed, when this announcement becomes public, I am confident that you will be inundated by proposals. I will take this occasion to suggest that you will be adequately served by giving our affiliate relations person, Joe Sparra, who has worked very hard on my program for the past couple of years, a call (727-864-1125). I am confident that he will be able to arrange programming that will be satisfactory to you. He is a very competent and loyal guy.

If during the remaining two weeks you would like me to do a phoner with anyone of your local hosts, I will be very pleased to do so. If you have an ISDN line we can do it over the equipment if not a regular phone.

There have been enormous changes in our industry in the past 3 ½ decades. Those of you who have been in the business for a long period of time know full well many of the things to which I elude. Those of you running independent stations are more aware then anyone of the challenges you face. The last several years have been very difficult economically for most. There’s no question that there will be continued innovations in this enterprise and the choices are clear, adjust or leave.

You may rest assured that this was not a decision made lightly. I truly appreciate the difficulties it will impose on many of you. If it would be helpful, I will do my best to provide some older shows, which you may continue to use at no cost and without any commercial obligations. My office will remain open for several weeks in order to facilitate this change. Beth and Denise will cooperate and work with you in any way possible.

As most of you know we are hosting a mystery cruise on the 21st of next month. My moving on will not in any way affect the cruise. I’d appreciate it if you would assure your listeners of this. We will be writing to each of the folks going with us, assuring them that nothing will interrupt or take away from our cruise.

There are so many people and organizations that have contributed to our success. A thank you list would be extremely long. The problem is every list is an exclusion list and at the risk of forgetting and possibly offending a very important part of this history, I am going to say with one or two exceptions, a collective and a heart felt thank you must suffice. There have been so many of you who have been extremely gracious and loyal over the years. One person who I must mention is the guy who I still think of as the boss, the late Tony Marano, General Manager of WCTC in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Tony passed away some years ago. He was so gracious to me, a tough sell but nonetheless, gave me my very first shot 35 years ago and when I think of Tony, as I always will, in my mind Tony is “the boss”. A talented gracious man who played a major role in my life.

I have learned “never say never”. This moment is closing a chapter of my life, which has meant a great deal to me. I have no broadcast plans. This is not to say that if someone made an overture that I would automatically say no. Unlikely, but the door is never firmly closed.

A great many factors went into making this decision. I have agonized over it for some considerable period of time. The decision was not made lightly but I firmly believe it is the correct one. Over these 3 ½ decades I have been honored to have spent some time with you. At least for a few years I was number one in my profession, an honor that is accorded to very few. I was always grateful for being inducted into Bruce Dumont’s Radio Hall of Fame. These are little things that won’t matter very much in the long run but they surely mattered to me.

I was always sorry that my Pop wasn’t around during my radio years but he passed away well before I had a thought about radio. My mom saw it happen and there is solace in that.

Two weeks from today I will get up on Monday morning and find my newspapers on my coffee table as they have been for many years, provided by the thoughtfulness of my wife Susan. But that day will be a different experience in that I will be reading those papers with the same intensity and the same interest however, I’ll be reading them entirely because I want to read them not because it’s necessary to be prepared to do a program. Quite a change after 30 years.

Some exceptions have to be made to the mention of individuals. 25 years ago, it seems impossible it’s been that long, I decided to move my offices from New Brunswick, New Jersey to Florida, a move I have never regretted. Shortly after arriving, a young lady answered an advertisement to come and work in my office and a quarter of a century later Beth Richards is still with me, my most valuable assistant. I will not articulate all the things that she has had to contend with during her loyal service of a quarter of a century. About 10 years later another lady wandered in asking for employment possibilities and Denise Gambale is still with me. Another incredible help to my broadcast career and business life.

A little over 4 years ago I passed my bi-annual flight physical. I asked the flight instructor who was giving me my check ride to really give me a going over which he did. After 3 near perfect landings, he leaned over and said, “Mr. Williams you still know how to fly an airplane, congratulations. I thanked him, taxied my plane over to the hanger and have not flown an airplane since. I wanted to go out a winner. So it is in other of life’s decisions, one must determine when it’s time to hold and when to fold. Very difficult decisions. I believe both decisions were the right ones.

It is my firm intention to make this transition as seamless as is possible. I will make this as easy as I am able.

I intend to continue writing my column for United Features hopefully for several years in the future. I will be in touch with many of my listeners through the column.

And finally, my wonderful family. There have been two very gracious and intelligent ladies who had a profound influence on who I am and whatever it is I have become. The first my first wife, Ruthann, who was there from the beginning, supportive in every way. For this I am eternally grateful. Now there is my second spouse, Susan, who has had to put up with a grouchy senior citizen for these many years and has also been faultlessly supportive accepting my weaknesses and few strengths. Of course I cannot forget my five children, grandchildren and friends along the party line. I have been blessed with a wonderful family and through some miraculous providence, all things considered, very good health. I never expect to retire in the traditional sense. Some people look forward to sitting around the fireplace, playing golf, etc. That has never been my ambition. I enjoy working and will continue as long as I am physically capable. One door closes another door opens. I hope this is to be the case in this instance. To be continued…..

Gratefully and Very Cordially,
Bruce H. Williams

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