WWSC countdown to 75 — E. Victor Wiley
This is the latest in an occasional series of posts leading up to the 75th anniversary of Glens Falls radio station WWSC on Dec. 18, 2021.
WWSC newsman E. Victor Wiley’s investigative reporting on gambling in Glens Falls in 1951 contributed to the political upset of an incumbent mayor.
Wiley, a veteran reporter and editor, said the investigation began when listeners contacted the station and complained that city police turned a blind eye to “open and widespread” gambling in the city.
“The radio newsman said constant threats by mail and telephone to his wife and himself of bodily harm and financial loss changed his attitude toward the anti-gambling campaign to a personal one rather than solely business,” The Post-Star reported.
City Judge Raymond K.A. Loughlin said Wiley exaggerated his role in six gambling cases that were transferred to Warren County court.
“It was not entirely due to Mr. Wiley’s broadcast in June that something was done about the gambling situation,” Loughlin said, speaking at a luncheon of the Glens Falls Kiwanis Club.
The judge said he wanted to correct information that was “not factual” that Wiley told the club in a speech the previous week.
Wiley’s investigation and broadcasts energized the Glens Falls Council of Churches, which pressured political candidates to make statements about the gambling investigation.
“In reply I will say that in the event that I am elected mayor of the City of Glens Falls at the coming election that I shall use my best efforts to see that all laws affecting the well being of the people of the city are enforced, including the laws against gambling,” said challenger J. Ward Russell, who defeated incumbent Milton Tibbetts.
Tibbetts, a few days after the election, said the city did not have the money and personnel to undertake a larger investigation.
“I’ve gone as far as I can. The people wanted to turn this over to someone else.”
Wiley, a World War I veteran, moved to Hudson Falls in the mid-1930s when he purchased The Hudson Falls Herald, a weekly newspaper, which he operated until he went to work at WWSC as news editor and later as commercial manager.
Wiley was active in the Hudson Falls Rotary Club and Hudson Falls Chamber of Commerce, and he was a frequent speaker at civic and community events.
“There’s Still Hope,” a discussion about democracy, was the topic when he was commencement speaker at Fort Ann High School in 1952.
“Poets are People and People are Poets,” was the topic when he spoke to the Golden Age Group, meeting at Glens Falls Junior High School, in 1954.
After Wiley retired from WWSC he operated a printing business in Hudson Falls.
Wiley died in 1967.
Sources: The Post-Star Aug. 16, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 1951; Jan. 24, 1952; May 24, 1954; April 21, 1967
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