Answering readers questions-what happened to Billy Weaver and other random thoughts
Those of you who have lived in the area for a while know better than to get too attached to your favorite local television news reporters and anchors.
The same could be said for your friendly local newspaper scribes, but that’s another column for, well, probably never.
Eastern North Carolina is a starter market for TV reporters. That’s why most of them look like they should still be in a school of some sort. For the most part, they’ve just finished their education and are in their first or second professional job. Once they master the basics of television news reporting and anchoring, they’re on to a bigger market for better pay, higher visibility, and in theory at least, more exciting stories to talk about. That’s just the nature of the TV business, onward and upward.
A case could be made for some of them leaving before they are ready, but that’s not our business.
Billy Weaver was an exception to the above description, while Tyler Feldman fit it almost perfectly.
Weaver, an affable Virginia Beach native, came to Eastern North Carolina to attend ECU, then returned to the area in 1998 to be the Sports Director at WITN and never left until this summer when the station went through a bit of a reorganization.
I was not a regular viewer, but I enjoyed Weaver’s friendly, relaxed on-air style and did have a few conversations with him while covering high school football games. He seemed fully invested in the area and was nice when fans would walk up to him and starting talking like they knew him. In a way they did, he was probably in their living room more frequently than anyone outside of family, especially during COVID.
Nobody would talk on the record about how it happened, but I don’t think it was Weaver, Feldman or former anchor Sharon Johnson’s idea to leave in July.
However, the sports guys landed on their feet. Weaver spent the rest of the summer at the beach in Salter Path running Billy’s Beach Breakfast food truck. He recently sold it, returned to Greenville and is working at Brown and Wood’s car dealership. Would you buy a used car from that man? I just might.
I caught up with him on social media for this column and found out he’s also engaged. He says he’s looking forward to his next chapter and appreciates folks thinking about him. He still has a hand in the media business and can be heard on Pirate Radio on the 5th Quarter call-in show after the ECU football games end.
As for Feldman, the Pittsburgh native landed on his feet in a bigger market.
After a two week break, the youngster signed on with the ABC affiliate in Austin, TX., where he reports on the Longhorns and high school football. They say everything is bigger in Texas, so the kid will have plenty to keep him busy.
The media business is tough these days, with many decisions being made mostly for financial reasons, no matter the contribution from on-air employees. It’s good to see that Weaver and Feldman took their lemons and made lemonade.
On a much more serious note, it’s been a tough week for the Washington High School community in the wake of student-athlete Jackson Griffin’s untimely passing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, coaches, classmates and teammates. It is our hope that prayers and support from the community will help them through this extremely sad time.