22News remembers the life and legacy of William L. Putnam

Putnam passed away Saturday at the age of 90

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – William L. Putnam was the Founder and Chairman of the Board of WWLP, western Massachusetts’ first television station.

To Putnam, the son of a former Mayor and prominent industrialist, goes the honor of being the first to put a UHF television station on the map.

Putnam proudly recalled during WWLP’s 25th anniversary program what it took to get this landmark station on the air back in March of 1953. “It represented a dream by a handful of people who combined idealism with farsightedness and a lot of guts,” said Putnam.

Read More: WWLP Founder William Lowell Putnam Dies at 90

He was a man who would not settle for merely dreaming his dream. Bill Putnam led an adventurous life. He scaled the heights in the fast-emerging medium of television. It matched his passion for climbing mountains.

Here in the Pioneer Valley, it’s no coincidence he built his television station atop a mountain.

Video: Putnam’s return to 22News for station’s 60th anniversary

We in the news business found a strong ally in this man, who refused to confine his energies behind an executive’s desk.

“We felt this community needed a strong alternative voice of news, editorials, information about the community. In opposition to the monopoly voice of the local newspaper, and we were determined to pull it off,” said Putnam.

Photos: Founder of WWLP passes away

His was a commanding presence both as a broadcasting pioneer, and a leader in the community.

Bill Putnam was a man who scaled the heights of his profession, always pursuing new levels of excellence in his chosen field.

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