Willie Webber

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Bill "Wee Willie" Webber
Born (1929-06-11)June 11, 1929
Havana, Cuba
Died May 23, 2010(2010-05-23) (aged 80)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Broadcaster, Radio Personality
Years active 1948–2010

Bill "Wee Willie" Webber (June 11, 1929 – May 23, 2010) was an American radio and television personality and pioneer. Webber worked in radio and television in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, region for more than 50 years.[1]

Biography[edit]

Webber was born in Havana, Cuba.[1] His father was British while his grandfather, an engineer, helped to pave the streets of Havana.[1] His family immigrated to the United States, and Webber was raised in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.[1] Webber graduated from Bushwick High School and attended classes at New York University.[1]

Webber enlisted in the United States Army after World War II and worked as an Army mapmaker while stationed in Japan after the war.[1] He successfully auditioned for the Armed Forces Radio on Honshu, earning the nickname "Honshu Cowboy" because he played country music.[1] His time in the Army allowed Webber to obtain U.S. citizenship.[1]

Broadcasting[edit]

Webber began his broadcasting career in 1948, at a now defunct FM radio station in New York City.[1] He worked for other radio stations in Manhattan and in Lancaster, Pennsylvania during his early adulthood.[1]

Webber was hired as an announcer at WEEU-TV (Channel 33) in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1953.[1] However, the station was unprofitable and went off the air a little more than a year later.[1]

In 1954, Webber began working in Philadelphia at WFIL and WFIL-FM as a "summer relief announcer."[1]

In 1956, Webber became an announcer at WFIL-TV (Channel 6). He began hosting Breakfast Time, a two-hour, morning children's show on Channel 6. The show, which featured cartoons, weather, and sports, aired until the 1960s.[1] In 1963, Webber joined WRCV-TV (Channel 3) as host of a quiz show. However, Webber's quiz show was canceled in 1965 when Westinghouse Broadcasting acquired the station and moved production of The Mike Douglas Show to Philadelphia.[1] In September 1965, Webber played the last song on KYW radio before the station switched to an all-news format.[1]

He next hosted the Wee Willie Webber Colorful Cartoon Club, an after-school show which aired on WPHL-TV (Channel 17) in the late afternoon hours. Wee Willie Webber Colorful Cartoon Club ran for ten years, from 1965 until 1975.[1] From 1976 to 1979, he hosted a similar show on WKBS-TV (Channel 48).

In the late 1960s, Webber became the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m air personality at WIP radio. He would remain in that time slot on WIP into the 1980s. Webber later was heard on WPEN radio from 1989 until 2005.[1] From about 2007 until 2010, Webber hosted a weekday program on WHAT radio and a Sunday afternoon show on WVLT in Vineland, New Jersey.[1]

Webber was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame in 1999.[1] He served as the president of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia from 2002 until 2004. From 2004 until 2006, Webber served as the chairman of the Broadcast Pioneers' board of directors.[1] In 2006, the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia named Webber its Person of the Year.[1] In 2007, Webber again served as the organization's Chairman of the Board, a position that Bill held at the time of his death in 2010.

Death[edit]

Bill Webber died of a heart attack at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia on May 23, 2010, at the age of 80. He was awaiting heart surgery at the time of his death.[1] He was survived by his wife, Constance; daughter, Wendy Scheid; son, William Webber Jr.; and four grandchildren (Taylor, Drew, Owen, and Grace). Webber lived on Rittenhouse Square at the time.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Naedele, Walter F. (2010-05-23). ""Wee" Willie Webber, local TV fixture, dies at 80". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2010-06-23. 

External links[edit]