William M. “Bill” Brady, a CBS News Director for over 30 years and Directors Guild of America Network Negotiating Committee chairman, has died at age 65. No cause of death was given in the announcement by DGA president Thomas Schlamme and national executive director Russell Hollander.
After graduating from Queens College in New York with a major in mass communications and minor in theater and economics, Brady worked a few jobs as a theater technician before landing a job in the mailroom at CBS.
Six months later, he became a production assistant at Channel Two in New York, then rose to associate director after eight months. A CBS News Director for over 30 years, Brady helmed such shows as Sunday Morning; The Saturday Early Show; The Early Show; Public Eye; 48 Hours; America Tonight; Street Stories; Eye to Eye; CBS Reports; 1989: A Year with Andy Rooney, and numerous other news broadcasts and specials. Those included the reality special Survivor: Countdown to Africa; the sports-oriented Sunday Morning Classics on ESPN; and Food TV’s The Next FTV Star 2007 Finale.
Schlamme said the organization was “deeply saddened to learn today of the passing of Bill Brady,” and called him a man of “immense dedication to his fellow members” who had “left a lasting impact on our Guild.”
“Bill was a gifted collaborator and tireless advocate on behalf of his fellow members,” said Schlamme. “His keen negotiating prowess resulted in strong contractual advances for all of our members working in news and sports. For all of Bill’s tremendous contributions, we were proud to present him with the Robert B. Aldrich Award in 2009. We will miss him greatly.”
Hollander called Brady “larger than life.”
“He brought style and grandeur to everything that he did. As someone who worked closely with Bill for many years in our New York office, it’s hard to put into words how much his contributions meant to our Guild, and especially for our members working in news and sports,” said Hollander, who led the DGA’s Network Negotiations alongside Brady. “Bill’s specialty was turning chaos into magic. Regardless of how fluid a situation was, he knew how to take control of it – and that’s what made him shine in the control room and the board room. Negotiating is tough, often grueling work – but Bill had the uncanny ability to cut through the tension and gain consensus across the bargaining table. His intention was always to serve the greater good. Our hearts are with his family and friends.”
Brady was a DGA member since 1976, and ran for the National Board in the early 1990s. He served one term as Sixth Vice President (1999-2001), and two terms as Fourth Vice President (2001-2003 and 2005-2007) before he was elected the Guild’s Second Vice President in 2007, serving in that role through 2013.
He also served on the Eastern Directors Council as a member or alternate for 20 years, was a trustee of the DGA Foundation for 14 years, and was a member of the DGA Honors Committee. He was Network Negotiating Committee chair in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010, and served on every Network Negotiating Committee since 1987.
Brady is survived by four children. No details on a memorial service was immediately available.