FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2009
REMARKS BY MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON THE DEATH OF AMSTERDAM NEWS PUBLISHER EMERITUS WILBERT A. "BILL" TATUM
Following are the Mayor's Remarks As Delivered in Times Square
"At the outset, before we get to the subject at hand, a little bit of sad news. For those of you in the news business, you will know this guy. Bill Tatum, the publisher emeritus of the Amsterdam News, passed away this morning.
"It's a big loss for a paper that has been influencing and reflecting City politics for over 100 years now. Bill helped build the company into a major employer in Harlem, but the paper's voice really was heard across the city - and, on many occasions, around the world.
"He covered issues of concern to African-Americans in ways that other media outlets did not, and he gave many young writers opportunities they might not otherwise have had.
"As is well known, I disagreed with Bill more than once, and anyone who has read his columns knows he disagreed with me more than once as well. But I liked him and I enjoyed spending some time with him and his wife, Susan.
"About a decade ago, Bill passed the torch to his daughter, Elinor, and I'm sure Bill was proud that she's leading it as it celebrates its centennial. I did talk to Elinor this morning to extend my sympathies to Bill's family and the extended family at the Amsterdam News.
"We will miss Bill Tatum. He was a real character in the nicest sense of the word and had a real feel for people and really tried to make our city better. And we just have to make sure that we carry on and have him proud of what we do going forward."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958