Monday, September 24, 2007

Bill Gonillo Dead at 44

Bill Gonillo, sports director at News-12 Connecticut, was found dead in his home yesterday afternoon. As of this morning, there is no known cause of death, but several people have confirmed to me that Bill was a diabetic.

It would be patently phony of me to write a lengthy tribute to Bill as I really didn't know him at all. We paid the pleasantries to each other from time to time yet, despite both being sportscasters, we really didn't run in the same circles. What do I mean? Well we often were at the same events - I just saw him at the first two Greenwich games this year, but we never spoke because, he was always down on the field, and I was in the booth. Once in a while he would stop by and film my roster for editing purposes (something many reporters have done over the years), but I didn't enjoy the good times that many of my peers like Matt Levine, Tim Parry, Jason Intrieiri, Sean Patrick Bowley and others had with Bill.

I guess I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Bill and I were colleagues...for a day. I worked at News-12 for exactly one day - December 19, 2001. Through a friend, I got into News-12 as a production assistant, but only as a fill-in. I wrote a few stories, edited some film, and basically surfed the internet. That was it. Then I watched as some of my stories (including the edited film) made it on their news that evening. It was funny to hear my words being read by somebody else.

Anyway I saw Bill a few times in the newsroom that night, and then later on when he was on the air. So there you go - my one day as Bill Gonillo's colleague.

Oh, why did I only work there for a day? Not long after, News-12 felt the "Adams curse." Major layoffs took place.

I'm going to let others pay tribute to the hardest working guy in Fairfield County sports. Sean Patrick Bowley wrote a nice piece this morning.

I will say this, in closing. We're one big messed-up family in the media, and more specifically in sports. There are often some strange rivalries and jealousies (like many writers that resent us electronic guys) but overall, we're all friendly. Yet I've never felt any rivalry with anyone. Matt Levine is on a "competitor" yet I have problem mentioning his name. The same went with Bill. I would always mention himn when I saw him filming, so that fans could go home and watch footage of the game that Bill shot. That's why, to me, this is a loss for my community of broadcasters.

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