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Dec 4, 2018 10:53 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

LTV Dedicates East Hampton Studio To Late Host Bill Fleming

LTV dedicated Studio II in honor of Bill Fleming last week. Mr. Fleming hosted his weekly talk show
Dec 4, 2018 11:13 AM

Dozens of former friends and colleagues gathered in the cavernous sound stage at LTV Studios last week to honor the late Bill Fleming, an East Hampton attorney who had been the station’s longest-serving host.The station has dedicated Studio II, where Mr. Fleming hosted 923 episodes of the half-hour “The East End Show” between 1986 and 2017, in his honor, and on Thursday evening, November 29, offered a fond tribute to his memory in the form of several minutes of clips from his show, starting with the first one and his interview with author Peter Matthiessen, whose book “Men’s Lives,” about East Hampton’s baymen, had just been released.

As they had after his death of a heart attack on January 11 of this year, friends remembered Mr. Fleming’s ebullient personality and voracious appetite for conversation about a broad range of topics.

“Bill’s convivial and genuine personality was a natural for television,” Diana Weir, the president of LTV’s board of directors, and a frequent guest on his show to discuss local politics, said to the crowd. “A renaissance man, his interests ranged from politics and baseball, wine, to toys, to community affairs, to history, to the stories of old-timers, to the talents of those in the arts. It came to him very naturally. And he made everyone on the show feel comfortable—and that’s a gift.”

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who may have been Mr. Fleming’s most frequent guest, recalled the host’s habit of bursting through the doors of the studio, which was furnished with only a pair of chairs and a small table, with only seconds to spare before the “On Air” light would come on. He said he knew of nobody in East Hampton who had more friends than Mr. Fleming, nor more dedication to the community.

“When I think about Bill, I think of a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “I like to see a man proud of the place from which he comes, and I like to see a man live so that place is proud of him,” Mr. Thiele said, choking back tears. “And that is Bill Fleming.

“Bill Fleming was proud of East Hampton, and because of the life he lived, we are proud of him.”

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