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Entertainment Journalist, TV Critic and WBGO Journal Contributor Bruce Fretts Dies at 54

Bruce Fretts

Tributes have been pouring in on social media for longtime critic and entertainment journalist Bruce Fretts, who died Friday at the age of 54.

Bruce Fretts was one of the top entertainment reporters in the New York area, having worked for Closer Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide and many other publications. 

He was also recently a freelancer with the New York Times.

Bruce Fretts wrote many reviews for the WBGO Journal through the years.  His brilliant eye turned many listeners on to mega-hit television seriess like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Homeland.  

Fretts first became involved with the station when he pledged to cohost an hour of Morning Jazz with Gary Walker.

In 2017, he got a role in the movie Landline.  He spoke at that time to WBGO reporter Ken Downey Jr. about how that all came about.

Fretts worked as a critic for a decade at Entertainment Weekly in the 1990s and later as a writer and editor at TV Guide where he wrote the "Cheers and Jeers" column on the back page for many years. Since 2014, he served as articles editor for Closer Weekly

In addition, he worked as a freelance writer and interviewer for a variety of outlets, such as the New York Times, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and Emmy magazine.

He is survived by two children, Jed and Olive.  Jed was an intern in the WBGO News department many years ago.  Our hearts go out to Jed, Olive and their family.

Bruce Fretts was great friend and supporter of WBGO.  He will be greatly missed.

Doug Doyle has been News Director at WBGO since 1998 and has taken his department to new heights in coverage and recognition. Doug and his staff have received more than 250 awards from organizations like PRNDI (now PMJA), AP, New York Association of Black Journalists, Garden State Association of Black Journalists and the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.