On August 1, 1982, Dover, Del. native Bill Flanagan came to town. As a young broadcast journalist, he arrived just in time to witness one of the most far-reaching regional economic collapses ever. Bleak news, but Bill Flanagan was on the job – as a general assignments reporter at KDKA-TV at the time – covering the shuttering of steel mills, massive layoffs and the ripple effect on other regional businesses and industries – all of which resulted in a sinking economy. It was certainly not the best of times for Pittsburgh, and perhaps not for a young broadcast journalist bombarded with more bad news than one should ever have to report.
Like Pittsburgh, Bill toughed it out and had the opportunity to report on the economic, environmental and quality of life transformation of Pittsburgh. In fact, his 30th anniversary of living and working in Pittsburgh maps perfectly to the three decades it took for the region to transform. Few broadcast journalists are in one place long enough to report on the polar extremes of stories. Bill’s had the unique opportunity to report on the fall – and remarkable rise – of the Pittsburgh region.
Bill began his Pittsburgh career at KDKA-TV, where he eventually became Money Editor and Pittsburgh’s only broadcast reporter devoted exclusively to business and personal finance. Bill’s been a pioneer in the field of regional business reporting beginning with The Sunday Business Page on KDKA and continuing today to Our Region’s Business on WPXI-TV, two of the only regional business affairs programs broadcast anywhere in the US.
Many Pittsburghers have spent their Sunday mornings with Bill, hearing about the latest developments and innovations having an impact on our economy, businesses and workers.
In 2001, Bill launched a new phase of his career, joining the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its Affiliates as executive vice president for corporate affairs. At the same time, he launched a new model for broadcasting regional business news with an innovative co-producing partnership between a major media outlet and a civic leadership organization – Our Region’s Business. Thanks to Bill’s professional commitment to broadcasting, his passion for Pittsburgh and the partnership with WPXI-TV, the region’s comeback story hasn’t been relegated to a moment in history. Our Region’s Business is a regular communications medium for presenting the personalities, events and places that are routinely putting Pittsburgh in not only the regional, but the national and international news.
Congratulations, Bill Flanagan, on 30 years as a Pittsburgher and Our Region’s Broadcaster. Here’s to many more stories that end on good notes for you and the region.
Catch Bill in broadcast mode – then and now – via the two video clips below.
Author’s note: Allegheny Conference colleagues Catherine DeLoughry and Ben Kamber also contributed to this post.