NABJ Mourns the Loss of Founder William Dilday
Spring Summer 202307/27/2023
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The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is mourning the loss of William Dilday. Dilday passed Thursday, July 27, leaving behind his loving family, many colleagues and mentees. One of NABJ’s 44 Founders, Dilday made history as the first Black manager of a network-affiliated TV station in the U.S., after a landmark Federal Communications Commission intervention regarding racial discrimination practices at WLBT, in Jackson, Mississippi.
He led WLBT as general manager for more than a decade. Under his leadership, WLBT became No.1 in Nielson and Arbitron ratings. He continued to embody NABJ’s mission to increase the pipeline of Black journalists and media professionals in management positions by breaking down barriers for the next generation in additional roles such as his work as executive vice president and general manager of WJTV, also in Jackson.
From WJTV, Dilday went on to become corporate vice president of News-Press and Gazette company and CEO of Kerimax Communications, Inc., while also spending time as a guest columnist for Jackson’s Clarion-Ledger.
He was an award-winning journalist and business professional, receiving the Peabody Award and Iris Awards from the National Association of Television Program Executives. Dilday was featured in Who’s Who in America every year from 1977 until 1995. He was also listed in Who’s Who in Black America at least five times.
Outside of his passion for innovating and diversifying the journalism industry, Dilday was deeply committed to the progress of the Black community. He was an active member of the Congressional Black Caucus Communication Task Force, the 100 Black Men, and he previously served as president of the Jackson Urban League.
“Founder Dilday’s years of dedication to creating spaces for Black journalists and visibility for the Black community is what made him a trailblazer in our industry and an NABJ gem. He will never be forgotten,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker.