Longtime Action News executive producer Rick Williams died overnight after an uphill battle with esophageal cancer.
Rick has been the lifeblood of 6abc’s editorial board for nearly 40 years.
He made 6pm. Newscast after 13 years as executive producer, influencing every newscast and nearly every story for a generation.
His passion for local news knows no bounds.
“Whether he’s happy because he thinks we’re doing well or frustrated because he thinks we’re not doing well, he puts his emotions on his sleeve. It’s not uncommon for us to go the extra mile to make sure Rick is happy,” He told Jim Gardner.
Rick had planned to spend his retirement around the country with his beloved wife Tina.
Unfortunately, they never get a chance, which teaches us not to waste a minute.
Rick, we will all miss you.
That same day, Jim Gardner will drop anchor at 11pm. Airing on Action News, 6ABC announced that his successor was none other than Rick Williams.
Williams will be joined by sporting director Dusit Rogers and chief meteorologist Cecily Tynan at 11pm. The broadcaster announced the broadcast on Tuesday, January 11.
In a statement announcing the news, 6ABC president and general manager Bernie Prazenica and vice president of news Tom Davis praised their choice.
“Rick is uniquely qualified with over 30 years of experience anchoring action journalism early, mid and late. His knowledge of our region and deep roots in our community make him the perfect choice,” Plazenica Say.
Davis added: “Rick has a great news anchor and a better guy! He’s really earned the respect and trust of his audience.”
Williams recently co-hosted Action News at 5 p.m. Action News on 6ABC and PHL17 at 10 p.m., and Action News’ weekly crime fighter series on unsolved homicides in the Philadelphia area.
Following the announcement, Williams expressed his admiration for Gardner and his excitement for the new role.
“Being able to follow a journalistic icon and be a role model in many ways is no small feat,” Williams said in a statement. “Jim set the bar very high for journalism at age 11, and I wish I could Keeping the same standards of excellence…while also having fun with my evening buddies.” It will be exciting! “
In November, Gardner, 73, announced he would reduce his schedule as he retires at the end of the year after more than 40 years of 11 p.m. information. He will continue to break down at 6 p.m. News for the rest of the year.