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'One of a kind' leaves warm legacy

By Brian Bailey

Jim Woods was probably the nicest person I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. He could do it all, and many times he did just that.

Eastern North Carolina lost a true broadcasting legend with his death on Thursday.

When I first came to Greenville, Jim was our weather anchor at WNCT-TV. He anchored the morning, noon, and 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. He was apparently a great “napper,” who never had an unkind word to say despite the long hours every day.

Jim could anchor the news, the sports, the weather, and he even filled in from time to time for another legend, John Spence with Farm News.

Back in 1986, our station was in need of a sports director. I had only been anchoring the weekend sports for about a year and half and I wasn’t sure that I could do the job. Jim Woods went to bat for me, recommending me for the position. Woods knew the job, because he was our station’s long-time sportscaster until several years before I arrived in Greenville.

I wasn’t around when Jim faced tragedy, losing a teenage son to cancer. I know that loss took its toll on Jim and his family. Still, Jim Woods was never bitter.

Jim was also a former play-by-play voice for East Carolina during an era when icons like Leo Jenkins and Clarence Stasavich were steering ECU into an indelible commitment to big-time sports. His enthusiasm and love for the game and for the Pirates was something that he shared with me from the first day that I met him.

Jim belongs in the East Carolina Hall of Fame. I think he’ll get there someday, but I wish it had come when Jim could have enjoyed the moment.

In this age of computers and instant messaging, I can still remember the old typewriter that Jim Woods used every day to deliver the news, sports or weather. It was a classic, just like Jim.

They just don’t get any better then Jim Woods. He’ll be missed, as he certainly made the world a better place.

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02/23/2007 01:28:51 AM

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