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Bill Worden awarded Syracuse Press Club's Career Achievement Award
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - Legendary anchor Bill Worden will receive a Career Achievement Award, the Syracuse Press Club has announced. Worden retired from WKTV in November after 35 years at the station.
The award is formally called The Gus Bliven-Joe Ganley-Mario Rossi Career Achievement Award, named in memory of Syracuse Post-Standard columnist Luther F. "Gus" Bliven, Herald-Journal editor, reporter, and columnist Joe Ganley, the first president of the Syracuse Press Club, and Herald-Journal and Post-Standard editor and columnist Mario Rossi.
Worden will receive the award at a banquet in May.
“For more than three decades, Bill was a fixture in Central New Yorkers’ homes. Tens of thousands of local residents have grown up watching Bill deliver the biggest stories that helped shape this region,” said Steve McMurray, Station Manager and News Director at NEWSChannel 2. “He was not just a newscaster, he was an institution-one that I’ve been fortunate to watch, learn from, and work alongside.
After more than 35 years as lead anchor at NEWSChannel 2 and nearly 50 years in broadcasting, Bill Worden retired from WKTV at the end of November. At the time, Bill was one of the longest-serving local news anchors in American television history.
At Bill's retirement celebration, he was honored in numerous ways by numerous organizations, with proclamations made by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri, Rome Mayor Joe Fusco, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol, New York State Senator Joe Griffo and State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi.
Additionally Mayor Palmieri declared the day as Bill Worden day in Utica and presented BIll a "Key To The City," just as he received when he returned to Utica to begin his tenure at WKTV.
Bill joined WKTV in March of 1977, as anchor of NewsChannel 2 at Six and Eleven. Later in his career, NewsChannel 2 at Ten was also added to Bill's anchoring duties. At one time, he also served as news director of the station.
His list of interviews runs the gamut from New York State Governors Mario Cuomo and George Pataki, President Ronald Reagan to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. His favorite continues to be an interview with the legendary singer Bobby Darin, shortly before Darin's death.
Bill is a native of Central New York. Born in Herkimer, he grew up the son of a successful local businessman, whose travels took Bill, his mother and his sister to Indiana and Florida before returning to Utica where his father became a car dealer.
Bill is an Air Force veteran, having served with a Top Secret clearance in the Atlas-F Missile program, during both the Cuban Missile Crisis and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Upon discharge, he entered the radio business in Utica at stations WBVM and WRUN. While working, he attended Utica College and Mohawk Valley Community College, where he helped start the college's first radio station.
In 1971, Worden took his first television position at KTVH-CBS in Wichita, Kansas where he anchored the noon and 6:00 p.m. broadcasts. Bill also anchored the 6:00 and 11:00 news in 1973 at WTVN in Columbus, Ohio.
While in Wichita, Worden earned several awards for two bicentennial year documentaries in 1976, including one from the state's farmers for a half-hour documentary on Kansas' two major industries, meat and wheat.
Bill is an accomplished drummer, and is part of the Mark Bolos Band. He played professionally across the country for several years with jazz and jazz-rock groups, including one national recording group. He has twice been a guest soloist with the Utica Symphony.
He is a well-known public speaker around the state, addressing issues pertinent to our times.
Worden met his wife Janna in Kansas while in the service. The same day the award was announced, the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They have four children and twelve grandchildren.