William S. Halpern, 84, veteran Pennsylvania radio and cable-TV executive, died Aug. 11 at Paoli (Pa.) Hospital.
Halpern was co-founder and GM of WCOJ(AM) Coatesville, Pa., when it launched in 1949 and founder and GM of Cable TV of Chester County from 1968 until it was sold, along with the radio station, to Lenfest in 1983.
Halpern got a crystal radio set at his bar mitzvah and the radio bug bit. After serving as a radio operator in the Pacific during World War II, Halpern began his commercial radio career in North Carolina before moving back to his home state as an announcer, production manager and program director at WLBR(AM) Lebanon, Pa. Along with Louis Setzer, he founded WCOJ, Chester County's first radio station. As GM, he emphasized local news and sports, particularly high school and college coverage.
Halpern, a past officer of the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, is survived by his wife, Sylvia; son, Edward; and daughter Leslie Stein, former senior director of marketing for ABC Radio Networks. Halpern's late son, Jonathan, was executive news producer at WTSP-TV Tampa.