WBAY News Director Tom McCarey Says Farewell - WBAY

WBAY News Director Tom McCarey Says Farewell

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Friday is truly a bittersweet day for all of us here at WBAY as we say goodbye to the man who has guided our newsroom for nearly three decades.  You never saw him on TV but the impact Tom McCarey has had on this station and all of us who've worked for him over the years will not be forgotten.

Tom was just 17, a junior in high school, when he took a production job at WBAY.  After two years in the Navy, he was offered a job in news where he served as a reporter, photographer, producer and assignment editor.  Then in 1983, Tom was promoted to News Director.  He loved news and he managed with a simple philosophy.

"The work that I do and the work this station does reflects high standards, yet at the same time we're good members of the community, we're neighbors," he said.

His dedication to the news and to WBAY shaped the station in more ways than can be counted.

"He is what we are today, he's really made it what it is today because everything we do revolves around local news," said Don Carmichael, the general manager of WBAY.

Tom's eye for talent and commitment to news have kept WBAY on top of local news throughout out his tenure which is one of the longest runs for a news director in this country.

His competitive nature also made him a very demanding boss.

"When I first came in I don't think I looked at him for six months honestly because I was kind of intimidated by him and I was afraid of him," said anchor Cami Rapson.

"He can be a little prickly," Carmichael said. 'He demands excellence and if he doesn't get it he let's you know that he's not getting it and that he expects to get it soon and what you need to do to get there, as far as I'm concerned that's not a bad thing."

Demanding of his people, and at the same time, compassionate and caring.

"Think of my own situation," said anchor Bill Jartz. "My wife's breast cancer, our house was burned down while my mother died, both of my knees this year, and his words every single time were, take as much time off as you need and come back when you're ready and don't come back before that. That's pretty unusual in today's business world to have that compassion."

"He hires you when you're 20 years old, he sees you get married, he sees you have kids and I think to him that's important, that's his family, these are my people, they're in this community, he's proud," Rapson said.

""We have a great station here, we have great people, my job was to find good people and bring them in and let them do their job and get out of their way," McCarey said. ""I hope the station is in the same position in the community as it is now, that would make me very happy."

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