In his 50 years at Western Mass News, Ray Hershel has interviewed thousands of people from all walks of life.
From national state and local leaders, to celebrities and people from Western Massachusetts, if they were in the news, they were likely interview by Ray.
As he nears retirement, we asked a number of Western Mass news makers and consultants, to share their thoughts about Ray.
State Representative Joseph Wagner of Chicopee:
"He's a professional, he's a pro's pro, he's a great human being. It probably starts with that. He's a really good person and then he's really good at his job."
Paul Robbins of Paul Robbins Associates:
"When I started my business Ray Hershel was the guy, so I was a little intimidated to work with RH. He defined for me the relationship between a journalist and all of us that are involved in news."
West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt:
"Today the news gets a bad rap, but the amount of work he puts into stories to get the news out to everyone, is an amazing benefit for all of us and it's an honor to have known him."
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno:
"Ray is an institution, an icon, a great newsman. You have many many great news people at Western Mass News. And he doesn't look nor does he act his age. We go way back. Ray always does his homework. And relationships. You know who all the players are and you're always very respectful. This age of reality TV it's not the gotch ya ambush type of stuff. You've always been fair and coming from my side of the fence that's the best thing that I can say with reporters."
Tony Cignoli of A. L. Cignoli Company:
"He's the most amazing professional. The compassion that he has, not just to get the story, but to tell the story of average regular people. That's what's so amazing about Ray. And I think that what we're blessed by with RH. This is someone who could have easily left this market. This is the kind of guy we could have seen on national news 20 and 30 years ago, but he stayed. He's a hometown guy and he just comes across in everything that he does."
Congressman Richard Neal calls Ray, a newsman's newsman:
"You had stong relationships, you knew who you could talk to. I had many a night where he called me up just before he was sitting down to do the 11 o'clock news to confirm something and he knew I could be a reliable source on it. I think that when he retires, we're all going to lose a very valuable tradition in WMass and particularly the Pioneer Valley, Ray Hershel."
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