August 10, 2009

William Phelps, A Broadcast Entrepreneur Dies

Listen to "Billy Dee" in his last interview on blog talk radio. Phelps admits during the interview that he doesn't feel well. He talks about the history of Washington, DC radio and how he got started in radio. It was recorded on April 25, 2009.

William Issiah Phelps Jr., 53, an Internet radio and low-power television station entrepreneur, died July 21 at his home in Greenbelt, MD after a heart attack.

Mr. Phelps began his career on local radio stations WOL, WMMJ (MAJIC 102.3), WINX, WSID and WHIT as Billy Dee, Alexander Goodfellow, Tom Collins, Bill Clark, Bill Fox and Bob Scott. He moved into radio station management in Georgia and South Carolina. He returned to the Washington area in 1990, founding Hyattsville's Segway Media, a media production company.

In 2003, he founded a multimedia advertising company, Radio Music Productions, and began broadcasting over the Internet, where he developed the "Billy Dee's Timeless Classics" show and the "Higher Ground" gospel show. His Jammin 995 Internet radio station featured music and interviews with top singers.

The next year, Mr. Phelps acquired three low-power television stations, WIAV TV (Channel 58) in Greenbelt, WRAV TV (Channel 8) in Ocean City and WQAV TV (Channel 34) in Atlantic City.

Among his awards was the Best New Air Personality in 1993 from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.

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