Bill Parris, a long-time member of the BEA Scholarship Committee recently passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. For almost two decades, Bill served as the industry representative on the group, reading thousands of applications and providing valuable perspectives on these submissions. His work was marked by diligence, keen insight and above all, a deep interest in the students and respect for broadcast education.
Bill was president of Radio Broadcast Communications Inc, which owns or operates six radio stations in the Washington DC and Baltimore markets, as well as multimedia ventures.
As a broadcast management consultant, Parris advised radio stations in major, medium and small markets. His previous ventures included serving as president of a Hollywood production studio, operating a Los Angeles based Talent Agency, and 18 years as Executive Vice President of United Broadcasting Company; which owned cable, television, and radio stations in major markets nationwide.
As a radio programming consultant, Parris was honored with Billboard Magazine’s Major Market Program Director of the Year Award, in recognition as an innovator in the Urban Contemporary and Adult Contemporary formats.
His broadcasting career started in New York City in 1964, where he attended NYU and then spent fifteen years as a Top 40 DJ at multiple stations from upstate New York to Georgia. Following his on-air career, he became Program Director of several major market radio stations including WINX Washington, WLPL Baltimore, and WLYT/WJMO Cleveland.
Discovering and developing new talent was always one of his Bill’s top priorities — a passion that mirrored his interest in BEA scholarship endeavors. A member of the the board of directors for the Maryland, DC, Delaware Broadcasters Association, he was also an active Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol, serving as a search and rescue pilot.
Because of his deep love for the BEA Scholarship program, Bill’s family encourages that remembrances take the form of contributions made to BEA with the notation “Parris Scholarship.” Checks can be sent to 1771 N st NW, Washington DC 20036