William T. Clew

Telegram & Gazette
Catholic Free Press

Bill Clew has been a reporter, editor, manager and mentor at Central Massachusetts newspapers for more than 60 years. He worked at the Telegram & Gazette for 37 years before joining the Catholic Free Press in Worcester in 1991. At age 88, he still works there several days a week as a contributing editor.

Bill’s colleagues say that he hired and cultivated a generation of reporters and editors at the Telegram & Gazette; set the course for daily news coverage that valued verified facts; cared about the story, but also cared about his staff; demanded clear writing and fairness from everyone;  led by example, and made training and development his primary goal; inspired his troops to practice good journalism every day; and they describe him as “the epitome of a newspaperman.”

Bill’s inspiration to work at a newspaper was found at home. His father, William J. Clew, was also a newsman, working for The Hartford Courant for 50 years and retiring as its managing editor.  Bill joined the Telegram & Gazette on Oct. 3, 1954, as a reporter in the newspaper’s Fitchburg bureau.

After Fitchburg, Bill covered news in the Webster bureau before joining The Evening Gazette city staff.  Bill was the definition of “social media” before it was invented.  He is truly interested in people and their stories. Wherever he traveled, he would find the “Worcester connection” and bring back news and story ideas. Bill moved from reporter to editor to wire editor. He became The Evening Gazette news editor in 1967 and served in that post for 11 years. He was city editor of the Gazette for two years before taking over as regional editor in 1980.

It was as regional editor that he perhaps had his greatest impact. For nearly a decade, he coached countless reporters who remember his wisdom and steady guidance. Bill not only managed his reporters, but had to balance the night and day demands of different editors and newsrooms, not to mention the more in-depth needs of the Sunday paper.  He did so with experience, credibility, trust and humor.

In 1990, he became managing editor/Sunday Telegram, leaving the following year, in 1991. He wasn’t away from news for long. Bill took the weekend off and started at Catholic Free Press where he remains today.

New England Newspaper Hall of Fame Members

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