SAGINAW, MI— After 40 years in broadcasting, a veteran radio news anchor and news director has decided to pursue it as a career.
On her last day, Friday September 23, Ann Williams walked into the Alpha Media offices to find a stunning display of flowers on her desk by former General Manager John Casey, who hired her in 1983.
Williams then spoke on WSGW’s Art Lewis Show (790pm, 100.5FM) and spoke about her enduring legacy and commitment to her employees and those who have listened to her newscasts over the past few decades.
After her on-air performance, Williams spoke to The Saginaw New/MLive about what Williams appreciated most about her time on the radio.
After graduating from the University of Michigan and a stint with W3 Soul, now WTLZ KISS 107.1 FM, in 1982, Williams joined WSGW in 1983 as a reporter, covering topics and events surrounding Saginaw.
From there, Williams said she recalls early work she did, clicking around on typewriters at the train station and, with support from the WSGW news team, helping to delve deep into reports while also working to raise her family.
Williams began her first 17-year stint at WSGW, covering stories including the 1989 Dow CSX freight train derailment in Tittabawassee Township’s Freeland and the 1986 Michigan flood.
After her first iteration at WSGW, Williams decided to test the waters with television in 2000 as a contract editor at WEYI NBC-25.
While there, Williams said she vividly recalled the scramble to keep the news moving during 9/11 and other major events of the early 2000s.
Her tenure at NBC 25 lasted approximately five years before Williams returned to WSGW as assistant news director alongside current operations manager Dave Maurer. Williams would assume the role fully in 2011 after helping with coverage of corporate, social and political issues such as future first lady Michelle Obama’s visit to central Michigan during the 2008 election.
Through her work, Williams said, she’s gained a better understanding of the community she grew up in and the multitude of people she gets to work with.
That understanding and appreciation grew to the point that Williams was able to work her way into her role as co-host of the historic “Listen to the Mrs.” Radio show, a cooking show that aired weekday mornings on WSGW from 1952 to 2020.
On the show, Williams shared recipes from the long-running program’s library of deli and other home remedies with listeners who called in to the show. Williams said he loved having the opportunity to do something that was previously a hobby.
Williams said what she enjoyed most on the show was the annual cooking competitions, which are held to test the merits of home cooks from across the region.
Williams plans to retire from any news-related work and relax. She said she could take up a new job to stay active in the community.
“Hearing from so many colleagues and listeners … it’s really nice to know that people appreciate what I’ve done,” Williams said emotionally. “It’s humbling because even when a story is praised internally, you don’t always hear the heartwarming responses from people who are most impacted.”
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