WJXT mourns loss of longtime engineer Bill Tomlinson

The News4JAX family is mourning the loss of longtime engineer Bill Tomlinson, who passed away Thursday.

Tomlinson, a valued WJXT employee for more than 25 years, was known for his can-do attitude, soft-spoken demeanor and ingenuity. He created the station’s first internal television network, which was affectionately named “Billovision.”

IMAGES: Pictures of Bill taken over the years

Bob Ellis, WJXT & WCWJ Vice President and General Manager, said Tomlinson will be remembered for his amazing disposition and “willingness to help with any project at any time for anyone.”

“Bill was never happier than when he was on location making sure our broadcast had perfect picture and sound,” Ellis said. “His contributions to the station are too numerous to mention and often occurred without any fanfare but will definitely be celebrated for many years to come.”

Dave Hall, the station’s production manager, worked with Tomlinson for 33 years starting in 1988 when they shared duties running a satellite truck. He described his colleague as a friend, mentor and a “bad joke teller.”

“Every time we worked together, I learned something from Bill,” Hall said.

Even though she hasn’t worked with Tomlinson for decades, assignment editor Emily Boyer said they quickly bonded over their shared love of animals. She said they routinely shared photos of various critters they encountered.

“He was always smiling, always caring,” she said. “He would stop to talk with us, no matter how busy he was.”