MA Viewers Mourn The Loss Of A TV Legend
Bay State TV viewers are mourning the loss of 22 News reporter Sy Becker as news filtered that he passed away over the weekend after a short illness. In a 60-year broadcast career, spanning radio, TV, and the internet, Sy was well known for his boundless energy, his unmistakable, booming voice, and of course, let's not forget those eloquent movie reviews.
Sy Becker also knew how to work a crowd as he was always in his element when walking in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade, soaking up cheers from thousands of his adoring fans. Whether it was marching in the parade, hosting the East Longmeadow Concert Series, or the Red Cross Hometown Heroes Celebration, he lived for moments like this and it showed.
Born in 1936 in Brooklyn, New York, Sy attended The City College School of Radio and Television and began his broadcast career in radio with stops at stations in Chicopee, Massachusetts Asheville, North Carolina, and Dover, Delaware before spending 14 years at WSPR-AM in Springfield, where he served as he station's news director and an award-winning reporter. But it was on TV where Sy Becker found his niche and became a household name. He joined WWLP in 1979 as a general assignment reporter and yes he was a local theater and movie critic. who was just like the Energizer Bunny, a dynamo in action with a unique style and delivery all his own.
He was never one to shy from the spotlight, Sy starred in some memorable 22News promos. And then there was the time he went to Hollywood and came out looking like a new man. (This memorable moment is featured in the tribute video below) Sy was also a resident boxing maven, as he followed the fights from Joe Louis to Tyson Fury.
One of the highlights of his career took place back in 2009, Sy issued his famous “Becker Bike Challenge” during the TV station's Toys for Tots campaign. When it was over, the studio was overflowing with bikes donated by generous viewers, to give to kids in need for the holidays. The look on his face proved overwhelming with surprise and it personally moved him emotionally.
Every viewer will always remember Sy’s enduring legacy with his movie reviews. By his own count, Sy saw over 9,000 films in his lifetime, some of them good and some of them bad, always judged by the Becker star system and his unforgettable signature close: "This is Sy Becker with another LOOOOOK at the movies". The Springfield TV station aired a video tribute to their iconic reporter who brought charisma and his unique personality to the Bay State airwaves:
Due to health reasons, Sy retired this past spring, finishing a career that won’t soon be forgotten by his friends here at 22News and his many fans in western Massachusetts. He truly was Sy Becker, with the booming voice, who was small in stature but larger than life. A quote that embodied his ebullient personality.
A service will be held this weekend as visitation hours will be held on Saturday, October 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., followed by a service from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Forastiere Funeral Home located at 220 North Main St in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers, Sy’s family asks you to make a donation to Toys for Tots this holiday season.
BOTTOM LINE: He was "old school", entertaining and fun to watch. The area's TV airwaves have truly left us a void as his presence will be sorely missed. Sy Becker's memory will ALWAYS remain eternal and everlasting.
(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of 22 News anchor, Rich Tettemer at www.wwlp.com. Featured image and Video clip of Sy Becker tribute courtesy of 22News and www.youtube.com)