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Bill Foy has worked in the Roanoke-Lynchburg television market off and on since 1992.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Longtime television newsman Bill Foy is leaving his job as news director at WSET-TV (Channel 13) to take a position at Virginia Tech.
Foy, 57, will leave the Lynchburg ABC affiliate July 24 and return to his alma mater as director of communications for the division of student affairs, the office that oversees nearly 20 university departments ranging from counseling to housing to club sports.
“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to return to Virginia Tech,” Foy said. “Without a doubt, the toughest part is leaving so many friends and colleagues at WSET.”
Foy has been news director at Channel 13 since 2007 and has worked in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market off and on since 1992.
A Richmond native, Foy worked in news at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, S.C., and WBTV-TV in Charlotte before joining Roanoke’s WSLS-TV (Channel 10), where he worked for station manager Randy Smith.
Foy and Smith both left Channel 10 in 1997. Foy worked for Richmond’s WRIC-TV before leaving television to work for the state in public relations from 2005 until 2007. After Smith became general manager at WSET, he persuaded Foy to return to TV news.
“The only way I was ever going to work in television again was if I got the chance to work with Randy Smith,” Foy said.
Channel 13 has been a solid No. 2 station in the market in recent years. WSET’s newscasts generally finish behind Roanoke’s longtime leader WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) and ahead of WSLS in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market.
During the summer of 2011, WSET actually passed WDBJ in the overall viewership ratings at 6 p.m. for the first time, according to the Nielsen Company.
“That was sort of the high-water mark,” Foy said.
In a news release, Smith called Foy “the consummate professional. He is one of the most experienced and highly regarded news professionals in the commonwealth, if not the industry. Bill is one of a very small group of people in whom I have blind trust.”
Even though Foy works behind the scenes at the Lynchburg ABC affiliate, his departure will initiate a series of changes that viewers will notice.
Anchorman Len Stevens will become interim news director and will relinquish some of his on-air duties. Stevens, who has been an anchor at Channel 13 since 2002, will continue to co-anchor newscasts at 5:30, 6 and 7 p.m., but will give up the 11 p.m. newscast.
Danner Evans, who anchors 5 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts, will take over at 11 p.m.
“I can’t imagine a situation where the news department could be in better hands,” Foy said.
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