Bill Scott '54
Class of 1954
“You Give Us 22 Minutes, We’ll Give You the World.”
With this now-familiar radio station identification for WINS in New York, Bill Scott, an honors graduate of City College, helped revolutionize the world of radio news. Once a traditional music station, WINS won unprecedented ratings and financial success with the all-news format that Scott implemented as a 22-minute package that made the format a hit. That was 1965. Today, 1010 WINS continues to be the leading all-news - and most listened to - station in the country.
When he was at CCNY, Scott majored in experimental psychology and a “near major” in history.
“I was always interested in and determined to be in broadcast, not print journalism,”Scott says. “At that time, it meant radio.” So, he volunteered at local stations in New York City as the College did not yet have a broadcast journalism path or a broadcast facility.
But Scott stresses the advantages he gained from his City College education: “It gave me the solid foundation on which I had the good fortune to have opportunities to build a career and a fulfilling life.”
For many years, Scott has served as executive vice president of South Florida PBS, the largest public media company in Florida. It includes WXEL-TV, serving the Palm Beaches, and WPBT2, serving Miami-Dade and Broward counties. He is responsible for programming, production, sales and marketing.
As an award-winning journalist, Scott covered major news stories, including the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the manned space program from its inception to the moon landing and every presidential campaign and convention for more than two decades.
Over the course of his long career, Scott has held top editorial and administrative posts at some of the nation’s top broadcasting companies.
For four years, he was integrally involved with the management of 1010 WINS, then owned by Westinghouse’s Group W Radio. He is particularly proud of the work he did there mentoring promising minority students who sought careers in broadcast journalism. Later, he served as senior vice president of Group W Radio responsible for the performance of radio stations in major markets across the United States. He was also executive vice president of Group W Television, responsible for strategic planning for the TV station group.
His extensive experience includes four years as vice president for programing, news and public affairs of the Straus Broadcasting Group. He also was part of the top-rated, award-winning Channel 5 New York news team, which established the 10 o ‘clock news in major markets.
During the administration of President Jimmy Carter, Scott was a member of a five-person panel to evaluate and make recommendations on the worldwide operations of the Voice of America and C.I.A. involvement.
In the 1990’s, he was president and CEO of the Travel Channel and took what was a fledgling cable service on a path to economic success and international distribution. He is also former president of the PAX Television Network (now ION Media). Earlier he was a director of Paxson Communications Corporation and participated in the company’s acquisition and operation of 47 radio stations and its decision to acquire 61 television stations and migrate from radio to television.