William Westenhaver, RIP

UK-DXer-RCI-QSL

Sheldon Harvey kindly posted the following notice regarding William (Bill) Westenhaver on the NASWA Winter SWL Fest Facebook group:

I’m sad to report the passing this week of a person well known within the radio hobby community, William (Bill) Westenhaver.

A native of Angola, Indiana, Bill moved to Montreal in the late 1960s, where he spent the rest of his life. An avid shortwave listener, DXer and QSL collector, Bill was an active member of several radio clubs including CIDX and Speedx. He was a participant in numerous ANARC conventions and Winter SWL Festivals.

Bill took a job with Radio Canada International, working in the Audience Relations department. One of his principal duties was issuing RCI QSL cards for reception reports received from around the world. Bill went on to other duties within the CBC/Radio-Canada headquarters in Montreal.

Bill was an active member of the Coalition to Restore RCI Funding and the RCI Action Group, the ad hoc groups that worked tirelessly to restore and/or retain the services of Radio Canada International on shortwave.

Bill was also the original co-host of The International Radio Report, with Sheldon Harvey, on CKUT-FM in Montreal. He also worked on a number of other programs on CKUT over the years.

Bill passed away earlier this week here in Montreal. We extend our condolences to all of his family and friends. He will be fondly remember throughout the radio community.

Sheldon Harvey

RCI’s The Link also posted the following message:

All members of RCI are mourning the sudden loss this week of William Westenhaver Bill was an integral member of the RCI team for years, handling our mail and prize mailouts, as well as participating in a number of shows over several years, especially on the various iterations of the “mailbag” shows. Bill adored shortwave radio, and with the budget [cuts], found work in another department of Radio Canada, but stayed in touch with many of us, always with a smile and friendly word in the hallways of this big building. We shall miss him dearly.

I never met Bill in person, but I communicated with him many times. He received my reception reports, issued QSL cards, and set up a couple of interviews on RCI.

If you’ve ever requested a QSL from RCI, Bill was most likely the fellow who issued your cards. Bill was an incredibly friendly and helpful fellow.

I’m also forever grateful for his help in securing a special guided tour of the RCI Sackville transmitter site–only months before it was closed.

Many thanks, Sheldon, for sharing your memories–condolences to his family and many friends.

Update: RCI recently posted this memorial page for Bill.

The Link talks about the cuts at RCI

In this interview with Levon Sevunts, producer for RCI’s The Link, we get a little more insight into the impact of these cuts at Radio Canada International.

One notable quote from the audio interview: Sevunts states rather bluntly, “RCI is getting out of radio altogether.”

RCI’s last day of broadcasting will be June 26th, 2012.

(Source: The Link)

RCI will bear the brunt of the 10 per cent funding cut to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announced in the last federal budget. RCI is going off the air. The international service will no longer be heard on shortwave or satellite broadcasts. A budget cut of more than 80% at RCI will mean only limited service will be offered on the Internet in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic. Russian and Portuguese services will be dropped. A total of 650 jobs will be lost at the CBC over the next three years and there will be changes in programming. To generate additional revenue, CBC plans to introduce advertising on its CBC Radio 2 and Espace Musique channels. CBC TV will also shut down 620 analog transmitters and cut its in-house documentary unit. Marc Montgomery discusses the changes with The Link’s producer, Levon Sevunts.