Rick Willis, News Director for Spectrum News, will hang up his journalist hat after 50 years on October 5th.
Willis, a native of Cherryville, North Carolina, boasts a career spanning from radio-to-television, coast-to-coast, and assignment desk to news director.
During his extensive career, Rick has worked at 12 different media outlets across 6 states:
- 1967-1973: WCSL Radio - Cherryville, NC
- 1973-1975: WUNC-TV - Chapel Hill, NC
- 1975-1976: WKYK Radio - Burnsville, NC
- 1976-1978: WAYS Radio - Charlotte, NC
- 1978-1983: WCNC-TV - Charlotte, NC
- 1984-1985: WLWT-TV - Cincinnati, OH
- 1985-1986: KPRC-TV - Houston, TX
- 1986-1988: KSPR-TV - Springfield, MO
- 1988-1989: KSTP-TV - St. Paul, MN
- 1989-1993: WBRZ-TV - Baton Rouge, LA
- 1993-2001: WTVD-TV - Durham, NC
- 2001-2017: Spectrum News - Raleigh, NC
Notably, in 1983 Rick was a producer on assignment at the U.S. military base in Beirut, Lebanon where Jihadists launched their first large scale attack on United States forces, killing more than 230 U.S. soldiers. The content he produced of the United States domestic war effort was of the first of its kind.
Rick went on to win an Emmy in 1985 for his work on coverage of the Ethiopian Famine with WLWT-TV.
In 2001 Willis played a vital role in launching News 14 Carolina, now Spectrum News. Since launching, Willis has been the Raleigh station's only News Director.
Upon his retirement, Rick says he looks forward to traveling, spending time with his wife and 91-year-old mother, and sleeping past 7 a.m.
Be sure to follow along with Spectrum News North Carolina on Instagram.