By TOM WILLIAMS
Chuck Betson, who died today after a long illness, was a major part of the area sports community for more than three decades.
His longtime radio talk show – The Betson Connection – discussed national stories but it frequently focused on what was happening locally. He covered high school sports and many of the other events that happened in this part of South Jersey.
Betson went to high school in Pennsylvania and college in Florida. He spent many summers as a lifeguard in Ocean City and was active with the Beach Patrol Alumni.
He was initially a writer, primarily covering college sports for The Press of Atlantic City. He later wrote for an Atlantic County weekly paper.
During the late 1980s and 1990s he expanded his coverage into radio and cable television. He hosted that nightly radio show, which continued until just a few years ago and provided play-by-play of Cape-Atlantic League football and basketball on cable television, giving additional exposure to the student-athletes.
When the Atlantic City Surf began its run in town, Betson was involved – as a broadcaster (teaming with the legendary Tony Blum), as a public address announcer and as a public relations guy.
Betson has two sons. Matt was a successful high school runner and a longtime member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol who was honored by City Council for his heroic rescue of four people nine years ago. Scott is the award-winning coach of Mainland’s girls basketball team. When the Mustangs won the state championship under Scott in 2019 it was a great moment for Chuck, who tried to attend every one of his son’s games until health problems recently limited him.
He was outspoken in his broadcasts and his approach to controversial issues pleased some, but not others. Still, he created the conversation about those issues which, after all, is the media’s purpose.
Chuck Betson was 68.