UPDATE: The Cleveland Cavaliers franchise has confirmed that they offered Mr. Williams a job and a house, according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell.
You can already see the Movie of the Week being written. That is, if someone thought it’d be worthwhile to make those sorts of television programs about radio announcers.
Ted Williams was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He was blessed with the gift of a great radio voice, but as he tells the Columbus Dispatch in this video, alcohol and drugs and “a few other things” derailed his career. Williams is now two years clean and panhandling for change on the side of the highway, but hopefully someone will see this incredibly powerful short clip and pick him up soon.
His sign reads: “I have a God-given gift of voice. I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times. Please! Any help will be greatfully [sic] appreciated.” Watch this:
Incredible find by the Columbus Dispatch. Huge kudos directed their way. For all the radio folks out there, it’s time to believe in instant karma and hire this guy.
POSTSCRIPT: As always, the fine community over on Reddit is helping the cause. You can follow their updates in real-time, but here are the latest developments so far:
UPDATE: An anonymous listener of a radio morning talk show in Columbus offered $15,000 to have the show hire this man for the show
UPDATE2: I just spoke with Doral Chenoweth, the photographer/videographer who shot this piece for The Columbus Dispatch. He informed me that Ted can usually be found at the Hudson ramp off of I-71 South (for those of you who live in Columbus). If anyone in the Columbus area can check him out, hopefully we can find a way to contact him (Doral said he did not learn where Ted lives, but Doral knows there are no nearby homeless shelters). Also, Doral was an awesome guy on the phone, he told me his wife is carrying around a restaurant gift certificate in her car for Ted in hopes she’ll see him again. If anyone needs any photography/videography work, look him up Doral on the internets here or here.
UPDATE3: I received an e-mail from the the radio jocks who featured the sound-byte from this video on their show 1/4/11. They are considering hiring Ted using the $15K donation one of the listeners said they would donate for his salary. If they choose to hire Ted, they will e-mail me. They asked that I not release their e-mail account.
UPDATE4: joshfitz posted a tweet by the radio jocks, they’ll have Ted’s story featured on their radio show Thursday! I am going to contact the RJs again to see if they were able to get contact information for Ted that they can share!
UPDATE5: Dave and Jimmy (the RJ’s that played an audio clip from this video on their radio talk show 1/4/11 where I heard this in the first place) gave the “OK” to share their information. Their show airs live from 6:00 am-10:00 am EST and can be listened to at daveandjimmy.com. They are trying to contact Ted to have him on the show on Thursday.
UPDATE6: dj1200techniques has set up a gofundme account and website for Ted Williams. dj1200techniques has been a redditor for over 2 years now with a fair amount of activity and karma, so I feel he’s trustworthy. Once we have contact with Ted, I will personally see to it that all funds get to him. Ladyfingers has offered to buy Ted a phone, is there anyone in Columbus who can PM with Ladyfingers to get that phone to Ted?
UPDATE7: [The Morning Zoo](daveandjimmy.com) tracked down Ted! They’ll be hosting Ted on their radio show tomorrow, Wednesday January 5th at 7:15am EST! The link above has a “listen live” section, so we can all tune in then!
UPDATE8: jhietter has offered to sponsor Ted through this transition and oxytechx would like to get Ted work in the UK
UPDATE9: dj1200techniques’ fundraiser for Ted was an AMAZING success. We already hit the goal of $500 by a huge amount ($826 at last glance). Thank you so much for those of you who donated, but please don’t donate anymore, its probably prudent to not overwhelm Ted and instead give him a fair amount to get himself established again. Everyone who donated is AMAZING!
Williams appeared on the CBS Early Show on Wednesday for an exclusive: