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Bill McCreary, Pioneering New York Anchor, Has Died

Bill McCreary during Fox 5 Hosts a Party Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the 10 P.M. News Show at Fresco II On The Go in New York City.
Bill McCreary during Fox 5 Hosts a Party Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the 10 P.M. News Show at Fresco II On The Go in New York City (Image credit: Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

New York anchor Bill McCreary died last month in Brooklyn. He was 87 and suffered from a neurological disease. 

McCreary was hired at WNEW New York, now Fox’s WNYW, in 1967, and was an anchor on the 10 p.m. news alongside John Roland. McCreary began hosting Black News in 1970 and The McCreary Report in 1978, the same year he was named VP of news at the station.  

"He built Fox 5 The 10 O'Clock News," Good Day New York anchor Rosanna Scotto said on Fox5NY.com. "He was respected. People believed what he had to say and he worked hard to give you the information that you needed."

McCreary became the managing editor and anchor of Black News in 1970 and The McCreary Report in 1978, when he was also named a vice president of Fox 5 News.

McCreary was a prominent Black journalist at a time when they were uncommon on television. “There was no such thing as ethnic television, because none of us were on TV,” Mr. McCreary told The New York Daily News in 1997. “So it happens that along came the inner-city thing, places like Bed-Stuy and Harlem, and the news directors suddenly realized, ‘Hey, we don’t have any connections in these Black communities.’ There were less than a handful of us on television back then.”

McCreary was born in South Carolina and moved to the Lower East Side of Manhattan as an infant. He was in the Army from 1953 to 1955, the New York Times reported, and got his start in radio. 

Over the course of his career, McCreary interviewed Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Muhammed Ali and Nelson Mandela.

John Roland called him “a man of integrity, a man of intelligence and very, very hard working."