Top of Mind: Jack Williams, Extended Version

Boston editor James Burnett: You’d better not win any more awards.

Jack Williams: Well, I don’t have any spots for them. Don’t tell anybody, but we’ve got them on the floor, and, uh, Marci says, “Don’t bring any more home, please.” You know, I’m deeply honored—I just think if you’re in a place long enough, you get something.

JB: What does it feel like to be in the place you’re at now?

JW: It’s great, you know. I still love the work, I don’t want to retire, I have no desire to retire, I like doing what I’m doing. It’s fun winning.

And I think, to be around awhile, it’s like most things in life: Nothing’s going to come easy—you gotta work for it. …I think people in New England are very suspicious at first of new so-called personalities. It just takes a long time to prove yourself to people. But I will say that once they like you, they’re probably the most loyal group of people in the country, because they just don’t give their affection that easily. So I’m honored. My wife and I have tried to use the attention I’m able to gather at times to try to help out special-needs kids, that’s been our cause….

JB: What was your reaction when you got the call, when you were asked to come back to prime time?

JW: I always thought they made a big mistake taking me off, actually. They tried to replace me with an announcer from the World Wrestling Federation. Fortunately the idiots making these decisions are gone, but you just have to question, What were they thinking?

…Why did I survive, why did I get the call? Because all these years they did research, and I’m still the best-known person they had ….

JB: Ever talk to some of your former competitors, or your contemporaries?

JW: No, not really. It’s not like a little club. I’m so darn busy trying to run Wednesday’s Child—we run it out of our home, Marci and me, and we don’t have any employees—that’s taken more time than I ever expected. But it’s been so successful we can’t let up. And between that and the work hours, especially with the layoffs here—we’ve laid off 75 people—I’m doing a lot of the hands-on. …I’m doing a lot of the writing, especially for 11 o’clock. An awful lot of that. Which is good—I mean, I know how to write—but it’s an awful lot of bodies to lose. All of that’s still got to be done, and the pressure’s on to do a better job….

I got my first anchor job 41 years ago, so this isn’t my first rodeo. I kind of like doing it. I’d rather be busy.