LTV to Dedicate Studio in Memory of Bill Fleming

LTV Studios Development Director Ellen Watson, Historian and Archivist Genie Henderson and Executive Director Eric Glandbard in front of Studio II, which will be dedicated to the late Bill Fleming. Michael Heller photo

There’s a tree on Main Street in East Hampton dedicated to Bill Fleming, as well as a musical piece commissioned in his memory by the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, of which the late East Hampton attorney and philanthropist was a board member. Now, there will be a television studio named in his memory, too.

Studio II at LTV, the public access TV studio in Wainscott, was where he filmed his talk show, “The East End Show,” for many years.

Mr. Fleming, whose program was the longest-running show in the studio’s history, died of heart failure in January at the age of 69.

The wall above the door to Studio II now bears his name in shining silver letters, and will be formally dedicated to him in a private ceremony next Thursday.

“Everyone wanted to do something to memorialize Bill. It seemed like a natural thing to do,” said Eric Glandbard, LTV’s recently arrived executive director, who was also station manager in the 1980s. He came on board for the first time shortly after Mr. Fleming launched “The East End Show” in 1986.

“Bill was just an extraordinary guy. He knew a lot about a lot of things,” Mr. Glandbard said this week. “He was a great interviewer, a great listener, very curious, a voracious reader of the news.”

Mr. Fleming was known to interview a wide range of local guests, from politicians to clergy members, from coaches to artists, from historians to winemakers, and everyone in between.

The effort to dedicate Studio II in honor of Mr. Fleming was led by Ellen Watson, LTV’s development director, and Genie Henderson, its librarian, archivist and historian.

“When we heard that Bill had died, which was such a shock to us all, the first thing that came to our mind was, with the longest running show on LTV, we wanted to dedicate something important to him,” Ms. Henderson said Tuesday. “Studio II is really the talk show studio. That just seemed to be the best thing. We announced it at his memorial service and got a lot of wonderful reactions. Everyone loved him. That’s all there is to it. He was just so much fun, larger than life.”

She said if people are inspired by Mr. Fleming’s contributions to LTV and the community, the studio would welcome donations.

“We are always looking to improve our facility,” Ms. Henderson said. “We’re hoping that if anyone feels so moved, in his name we can continue to upgrade everything here. That is the workhorse studio, the one that most people use. It gets the most wear-and-tear, so we’re constantly having to look at it.”

A couple of other long-running shows, “The Lois Wright Show” and “Tell It To Henry,” along with programs like “Spotlight on the Arts,” “Gung Ho” and a Spanish-language show, “Integrando Culturas,” are among the programs filmed in Studio II.

About a decade ago, LTV dedicated Studio III to Frances Ann Dougherty, a theater producer who was, along with her husband Frazer Dougherty, a founder and longtime supporter of LTV.

Mr. Fleming’s wife, Abigail Fleming, said she feels honored by LTV’s decision to name the studio in his honor.

“It really touches my heart, because LTV really had a big place in Bill’s heart,” Ms. Fleming said. “He was so dedicated to them and thought really highly of everyone at LTV. I think it’s just wonderful that they’re honoring him. That was like his second home.”

She said her late husband would have loved the idea of “The Bill Fleming Studio.”

“It was his studio,” Ms. Fleming said. “Bill’s smiling. He’s definitely smiling.”