Longtime KYW announcer Vince Hill is laid off

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Former KYW reporter Vince Hill. (Photo via Hill's Facebook)

Longtime KYW Newsradio newsman Vince Hill, anchor of "KYW's Opening Bell," heard the closing bell yesterday when CBS Philly laid him off.

"I had no idea it was going to be my last show," he told me in a phone interview.

"I didn't want to go out this way. I don't take it personally, not at all. It may be all part of the [CBS] shakeup."

On July 1, CBS3 fired three of its top TV news personalities - Kathy Orr, Chris May and Beasley Reece.

Since his wife, Janis, died in 2011 following surgery to remove two brain tumors, Hill has lived with his two sons in Woolwich Township, Gloucester County, N.J. He said he learned of his firing not long after his midday broadcast yesterday and was six years away from retirement.

"It came as a surprise to me," he said. "I had no security guards escorting me out of the building. It was amicable.

"But this was my life. I loved doing KYW Newsradio. I thank the audience for welcoming me into their homes every day."

Hill, 58, a Philly native and a Central High grad, had been with KYW since he was 22. He covered Wall Street and ran the KYW Business Center every weekday morning, giving listeners an idea of what to expect throughout the day.

A journalism professor at Temple University, Hill taught broadcast news writing to many students with whom he later shared the air at KYW, including Cherri Gregg, Tim Jimenez, Jim Melwert and Mike Dougherty.

"I'm proud of those guys," he said. "I'll probably keep on teaching for a while."

Kenney to DJ benefit

The Democratic candidate for mayor will be guest-DJing at "The Flow," an annual after-work networking event hosted at select venues throughout the city. "The Flow" has featured some of the city's most prominent personalities spinning their favorite tunes for a charitable cause of their choice.

This year, Jim Kenney's cameo will be at TGIFriday's (1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway). It benefits the Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, which provides job training for the disadvantaged.

In years past, the party has featured guest DJs such as Mayor Nutter and several City Council electeds.

Kenney said that we can expect some retro and old-school numbers, some stuff from Gamble & Huff and, of course, Tupac Shakur, "my favorite rapper." Check out "DJ Jimmy Jamz" from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday on the rooftop deck.

From Penn to Hollywood

A Penn grad has been chosen along with nine others for the 2015 HBO Access Writers Fellowships.

After 2,000 submissions, HBO announced the winners of its writing program, which offers emerging scribes from a diverse array of backgrounds the opportunity to submit their work and participate in an eight-month-long fellowship in Santa Monica, Calif.

University of Pennsylvania graduate Yolanda Carney is one lucky winner. Although she's now based in Chicago, she wrote several plays locally and holds a B.A. in creative writing from her Ivy League alma mater.

Papal visit bumps annual gala

Bebashi's 30th anniversary Black Tie Gala is being forced to take a back seat to the pope.

The much anticipated World Meeting of Families - special guest Pope Francis - is scheduled for late September, the same time as the organization's annual gala, traditionally held at the Crystal Tea Room (100 E. Penn Square).

This year's benefit features "Rhythm of the Night" hitmaker El DeBarge and R&B gospel singer Howard Hewett.

Bebashi people tell me that they're moving their gala after city officials and venue management advised them that because of the heightened security during "Pope Week," traveling in and around Center City will be so difficult it would ruin attendance.

"Needless to say, we were all beyond disappointed, as we have been working diligently to make this an unforgettable night of networking, entertainment and inspiration," wrote a marketing specialist for Bebashi-Transition to Hope - the Philly-based health management agency and benefactor of the gala.

The event is not DOA. It's just moved to a colder season.

Bebashi's "Power of 30" gala and awards ceremony will now be held Dec. 11 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Ballroom at the Ben (834 Chestnut St.)


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