ALBANY -- He worked primarily in print media, referred to as "the dean" of State Capitol journalists by the Albany Times-Union... but he was also a frequent contributor to WHCU's Morning Newswatch. Former Gannett Albany bureau chief Jay Gallagher passed away Monday evening in an Albany hospital after battling pancreatic cancer for nearly a year. Today, WHCU's Dave Vieser shares some of his memories of working with Gallagher.
Vieser called Gallagher "one of New York State's finest reporters" when emailing CNYRadio.com Tuesday, adding, "it will be hard to get through [Wednesday] morning's show without breaking down."
More of Vieser's thoughts:
We first asked Jay Gallagher to join us as a frequent guest on WHCU three years ago. He had really never done much broadcast work before that. He would occasionally appear on TV, but radio was something new to him. We loved his frank discussions about the strange world of Albany politics, and his way of explaining how the dysfunction in Albany could impact each and every one of us who lives in the state.
His last appearance on our program was on March 7th, 2010, just over two months ago when there was a lot of speculation that Governor Paterson might resign amid scandals. Jay was funny and sharp (as he always was), and in great spirits. Over the last few months, as the cancer got worse, he was unable to be on the show…but he continued to blog, and share his very personal stories as well as keeping an eye on the antics in Albany.
Jay Gallagher was a straight-shooter, with a keen sense of what made Albany tick, and an amazing man. All of us at Cayuga Radio Group send our condolences to his family, co-workers, and friends…and we will miss him very, very much.
In addition to sending along his reflections, Vieser also sent along an MP3 aircheck from that March 7th segment, which would become Gallagher's last on WHCU. We'll make that download available for a limited time:
According to the Times-Union, arrangements are pending. The newspaper also reports, "in lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to Friends of Five Rivers, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054 or the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany Endowment Trust, 405 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12206."