Lavery Library’s Fay Scrapbook Collection Now Available on New York Heritage Website
Lavery Library’s Fay Scrapbook Collection, which includes items about local radio legend William Fay, has been digitized and added to the New York Heritage website, making it more widely available to the public. The Scrapbook Collection is part of the Library’s Special Collections.
The scrapbooks were originally assembled by Fay’s late daughter, Julie, and the digitized collection currently contains images of the scrapbooks themselves. The contents also include other Rochester area radio news and events from 1922-1938.
Fay began his career in radio in the early 1920s as an announcer and performer at WGY, a station in Schenectady, N.Y. He went on to work at WMAK in Buffalo, and then to WHAM in Rochester, where he was appointed General Manager in 1929. Fay continued to work in radio, and by 1955, he had been elected President and General Manager of WHAM and Director of the Stromberg-Carlson Broadcasting Corporation.
He also worked in television, leading WHAM-TV, which was then the local NBC affiliate, to win several awards for excellence and public service. Fay himself received many awards, and when WHAM-TV eventually became WROC-TV in 1956, he was appointed General Manager. In 1957, he left broadcasting, and in 1958, he purchased City Blue Print Company.
Fay helped organize an emergency civil defense alert system and created the first local citizens' advisory council for the WHAM stations. In addition, he was heavily involved in the Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts, Auto Club, Advertising Council, and the Salvation Army, among others. Fay died at the age of 72.
In 2008, the College dedicated The William A. Fay Building, which today houses the Communication/Journalism Department. The building was made possible by a gift from his daughter.
New York Heritage is a project of the NY 3Rs Association, Inc., an organization that enables libraries to better serve their users through dynamic programs, innovative collaborations, and shared resources. New York Heritage is a research portal for students, educators, historians, genealogists, and anyone else who is interested in learning more about the people, places, and institutions of New York State.
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