WASHINGTON — The D.C. community lost a broadcasting legend over the weekend when NBC-4’s Jim Vance passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer.
In a town where the media cycle is frequently less than 24 hours, the Washington Redskins did their part to make sure that Vance’s departure would be noticed and memorialized on the eve of another NFL season.
On Thursday, as training camp opened in Richmond, Va., Redskins Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams presented NBC-4’s Carol Maloney with this gift, which she will present to Vance’s family at a later date:
Williams spent a few minutes with Maloney on air, talking about how losing Vance was bigger than news or sports–it was losing an old friend.
“You just wish that you could hand it to him in person,” Williams said, his voice cracking with emotion. “You talk about Vance, I think about another good friend of mine, George Michael. And those two guys, for me — in this town, in this area — were the heart and soul for me.”
Williams reminisced on a charitable event that he hosted with Vance in March where the late newsman endorsed him for the promotion he received soon thereafter.
“I’m [now] the senior vice president of player personnel, and that night, the first thing he said, when we was looking for somebody to replace [Scot McCloughan], the first thing Vance said was, ‘The guy that we need is in this room.’ And I never will forget that.
The last that Williams heard from Vance was in his final days, via text on Independence Day.
“I had texted him on July the 4th, wishing him a great day. And he texted me back, ‘You too, my brother,'” Williams noted. “And it’s just tough, when you lose somebody like Vance.
“And I can imagine what it’s like at the station, because I’ve been following it, but not only the station — in this area as a whole. Unbelievable.”