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William Dilday

Maker interview details

Profile image of William Dilday


  • May 26, 2017


  • Category: MediaMakers
  • Occupation(s): Broadcast Executive


  • Born: September 14, 1937
  • Birth Location: Boston, Massachusetts


  • Favorite Color: Blue
  • Favorite Food: Beef, chicken, spaghetti, salads
  • Favorite Time of Year: August
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

"Don't do the crime if you can't do the time"
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Broadcast executive William Dilday was born on September 14, 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts to Alease Virginia Scott and William Horace Dilday. He graduated from the Boston Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts and received his B.S. degree in business administration from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1964, Dilday started his career as an operations supervisor at IBM. In 1968, Dilday became the personnel administrator and public relations director at Edgerton, Germehausen, & Grier, Inc. He then began working at WHDH-TV in Boston as director of personnel in 1969. Dilday then entered the field of journalism in 1972 as general manager of WLBT-TV/WLBM-TV in Jackson, Mississippi, as the first African American general manager of a network affiliate station. He worked at WLBT-TV/WLBM-TV until 1984. As chief operation officer, he led the station to achieve number one in Nielson and Arbitron ratings from November, 1973 to February, 1984. In 1990, Dilday joined WJTV-TV as general manager and executive vice president, where he implemented operation and programming plans that improved station ratings. After his departure from WJTV, Dilday joined News-Press and Gazette as corporate vice president. Dilday was then hired as president and chief executive officer of Kerimax Communications, Inc. Dilday has also spent time as a guest columnist for the Jackson Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.

Dilday has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Peabody Award, the National Mental Health Association Media Award, and two Iris Awards from the National Association of Television Program Executives. Dilday has also been featured in Who’s Who in America every year from 1977 until 1995. He has also been listen in Who’s Who in Black America in 1975, 1976, 1993, 1994, and 1995.

In addition to his career in journalism, Didlay has been active in many organizations and companies. He has served as a board member for First American Bank. Didlay has also been a board member of the National Association of Television Broadcasters, and the National Broadcasting Company Affiliate Board. He has served as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Communication Task Force, as well as a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists and 100 Black Men. From 1978 until 1979, Dilday served as president of the Jackson Urban League.

Dilday and his wife, Maxine, have two children: Erika Lynne and Kenya Aleafe.

William Dilday was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 26, 2017.