Bill Fine, only the fourth president and general manager in the history of WCVB-TV Channel 5 -- Boston's ABC affiliate, Hearst Television's flagship and the country’s most honored commercial TV station -- will retire from Hearst Television later this year.
Fine concludes a career in television broadcasting that began in the 1970s as a sports anchor and culminated in leading two of Hearst’s largest TV properties, while simultaneously becoming one of the industry’s most recognizable executives.
Among the hallmarks of Fine’s career has been an energetic commitment to WCVB’s prominent community-service role, exemplified recently by the station’s successful fundraising of more than $13 million to provide relief for New England families hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Bill has been a trusted colleague, mentor and friend for more than 25 years,” said Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb. “He has been an instrumental force in our company and the industry with an unmatched passion and knowledge for broadcasting. Over the term of his entire career, his leadership and influence have left an indelible legacy on WBAL, WCVB and many of our company's current and future leaders.”
“I am extremely fortunate to have devoted nearly my entire career to not only the best local television broadcaster in Boston, but, with Hearst Television, the best in the country,” Fine said. “Half of my life has been spent at WCVB, resulting in countless fond memories and friendships that will never fade. To have the honor of making my life’s work with Hearst, witnessing this wonderful Boston institution provide such an extraordinary service to our community -- my beloved hometown -- is a dream fulfilled.”
Named to his most recent position in 2005, Fine held overall management responsibility for Boston’s top-rated station as well as its award-winning website and accompanying digital platforms, wcvb.com; and WCVB's multicast station MeTV Boston. This marked his third appointment at WCVB since his first assignment in 1982. Prior to returning to WCVB in 2005, he served for seven years as president and general manager of Hearst’s WBAL-TV, Baltimore’s highly rated and respected NBC affiliate.
Under Fine’s leadership, WCVB has consistently remained Boston's news leader and is routinely honored by the industry's most prestigious organizations with coveted national, regional and local awards. The station has won the regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence 11 of the past 13 years, with two National Murrow Overall Excellence wins. WCVB has captured the National Headliner Award for Best Newscast in the country four of the past five years as well as the New England Emmy for Best Newscast nine of the last 11 years.
Also during Fine’s tenure, WCVB earned six Gabriel Awards as the “Nation’s Best Television Station,” and was presented with a prestigious Service to America Award in 2014 by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation for its exemplary efforts to serve the Boston community following the 2013 attack on the Boston Marathon.
Fine serves on the board of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and on the Leadership Council of Home Base, which is a program of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as on the Executive Council of the Catholic Schools Foundation’s Inner City Scholarship Fund and the Dean’s Advisory Board of Boston University’s College of Communication. Previously his service included work on the board of The United Way of Massachusetts Bay, The Johns Hopkins Hospital Board of Visitors, and the Board of Directors of the 2012 Washington/Baltimore Olympic Committee.
Within the industry, Fine is a past chairman of the Television Bureau of Advertising's Board of Directors as well as of the organization’s Sales Advisory Committee; he is also a past chairman and current board member of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association. He served eight years, a portion of that as Vice Chair, on the ABC Television Affiliates Association Board of Governors Executive Committee; and he served on the board of the Maryland/DC/Delaware Broadcasters Association.
Fine was named 2016 Broadcaster of the Year by the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association, the organization’s highest honor. In 2013 he was named “General
Manager of the Year” (top 25 markets) by Broadcasting & Cable magazine and was named to the Boston Business Journal's inaugural “Power 50” list
of most influential Bostonians.
Fine is a Massachusetts native and summa cum laude graduate of Boston University's College of Communication, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcasting and film. He resides in the Boston area with his wife, Gail, and has three children, all of whom live in Boston: Ben Rawitz and his wife April Soderstrom, Ali Fine and Jeff Fine, and he is now a proud grandfather with the 2018 birth of his grandson Lex.