Sunday, July 5, 2015

"Wee Willie" Webber has passed away

The TV icon was 80.

"Wee Willie" Webber has passed away

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Bill Webber  (via WHAT)
Bill Webber (via WHAT)

Bill "Wee Willie" Webber, who at 6-foot-5 was one of the giants of broadcasting in the Philly area, died this morning of an apparent heart attack at age 80.

He had heart trouble of late, according to Gerry Wilkinson of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia.

Philadelphians of a certain age grew up with the mellifluous Mr. Webber, whose rich career included Channel 6 (the morning kiddie show called Breakfast Time) and its "Famous 56" AM radio station before joining WIP as a middle-of-the-road DJ.

His was the voice that introduced American Bandstand in its Philadelphia incarnation. While at Channel 3 and at KYW, he spun the last record on KYW before it went all-news. Mr. Webber was let go from KYW TV to make way for Mike Douglas. 

A Broadcast Pioneers bio notes that in 1965, just after his layoff, he became the first face on Channel 17. For 10 years, he hosted the "Wee Willie Webber Colorful Cartoon Club," and then moved to Channel 48.

From 1989 to 2005, he was on WPEN before its flip to sports talk. He'd been doing a late-morning show, Second Cup of Coffee, on WHAT (1340 AM).

Mr. Webber was chairman of the Broadcast Pioneers board. He is survived by his wife, Constance, and children Bill Jr. and Wendy.

Check back for funeral arrangements.

Philly.com
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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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