[HCDX]: Signing Off: William Pfeiffer
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[HCDX]: Signing Off: William Pfeiffer


                                                             Broadcast News 


{PRIVATE}Signing Off: William Pfeiffer
By Jason Jackson
If you worked in radio, you may not have known Bill Pfeiffer. But I'd 
bet you anything in the world that he knew about you.
Thought of by many as radio's greatest friend and fan, Bill was the 
creator, editor, and moderator of the newsgroup rec.radio.broadcasting 
and its companion Web site, www.airwaves.com. Thousands of radio 
fans would gather in Bill's corner of the Internet to relive memories, to 
talk about radio, and ? most importantly ? to have a good time 
discussing their shared passions.
Beginning in 1991, Bill, who worked in and out of radio over the years, 
moderated the group's postings, helping to bring convergent and 
divergent thoughts together for discussion. It was no easy task, and Bill 
was never in it for the money because there was no profit made from his 
efforts. Bill's world was a free, come-one-come-all gathering hall for 
radio fans around the globe.
But that gathering hall is filled with mourners today. Bill Pfeiffer, 44, was 
killed Wednesday in an automobile accident in Apple Valley, Minn. The 
Associated Press reports that the cause of the accident, in which three 
others were injured, is still under investigation. A witness told a local 
television station that one car jumped the median and hit the other head-
According to friend and newsgroup contributor Val Davis, Bill fell in 
love with radio during his youth in Chicago. "I suspect that he kept 
himself out of trouble by trying to pick up distant signals," said Davis.
In December 1996, he was living with his elderly mother near 
Springfield, Mo., when a devastating fire raced through their home, 
destroying everything. His mother died shortly thereafter as a result, and 
Bill's extensive collection of airchecks and radio paraphernalia was 
ruined. Wanting to pick up the pieces, he relocated, first to Milwaukee 
and then to Minnesota (where he was named music director at KYMN 
1080 AM in Northfield, 40 miles south of the Twin Cities, where he 
remained for five months). And all the while, through all the pain and 
tragedy, Bill's devotion to the group ? and its devotion to him ? was 
"When times were tough for Bill, the newsgroup would come through 
for him," recalled Davis. "Friends and anonymous donors helped Bill to 
rebuild his life through donations of cash, computers, and whatever else 
they had to send. For most of us, the Internet is a 'cyber' experience. 
But for Bill, the Internet community was very real and tangible."
"He contributed to many people through his work with 
rec.radio.broadcasting and www.airwaves.com," Davis continued. 
"Many people found jobs on his pages. He was providing a real service 
to the broadcast community, and he didn't get paid for it. He loved what 
he was doing."
"There was not a topic in radio that wasn't covered (on the newsgroup) 
? from the debate of low-power FM to technical specifications of 
antennas to the day-to-day running of a radio station," recalled 
newsgroup contributor Chris Carmichael. "Bill touched all aspects of 
radio broadcasting in the U.S. and beyond."
"Bill Pfeiffer was instrumental in my beginnings as a radio writer and 
reporter," added Carmichael, who once covered the San Diego radio 
market for RadioDigest.com and for the North County Times.
"Bill was an excellent newsgroup moderator, an eloquent writer, and a 
loyal friend," added Alan Freed. "We have lost not only a wonderful 
friend and advocate for quality, responsive radio, but a good, decent 
Bill is survived by his fiancé, Cindy.
Funeral arrangements are pending and will be published on 
{HYPERLINK "http://www.airwaves.com"}www.airwaves.com when information becomes available.
September 2, 1999

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