Broadcast Pioneers member Bill Toffel's broadcasting career started in 1959, working four years at a typical college radio station, WMUU, Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC, writing and producing several dramas for air. Tapes and records were a sign of the times.
From 1963 to 1966, Bill served in the US Air Force, and while stationed in Wichita Falls, TX, worked as a radio announcer for KNTO-AM. One of the key military duties, was to develop a documentary called "America Goes Into Space."
In 1965, he was transferred to King Salmon, Alaska, working for the Armed Forces Radio & Television Service (AFRTS). He anchored live news nightly and also produced a teen dance show for young natives, similar to the legendary Bandstand. In 1966, Toffel was assigned to Colorado Springs, CO, working at the Cheyenne Mountain complex by day, and evenings, hosting an easy listening music program.
From 1966 to 1967, Toffel replaced Taylor Grant at WIBF-TV, Channel 29, as Anchor/News Director. During this time, Broadcast Pioneers member Don Henderson did the sports while his wife Carol handled the weather. The studios were in the Benson East Building in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Everything was done "live" with paste-up UPI still pictures. Numerous live guests appeared on the show, including Grace Kelly, and scores of local politicians.
Following military service, from 1966 to 1969, he became the News Director at WREX-TV in Rockford, IL, anchoring nightly news and travelling to Washington, DC quarterly to interview politicians.
In 1969, was introduced to "All News, All the Time" - KYW Newsradio. For the following five years, Bill, Toffel served as Anchor and Editor. From 1974 to 1978, he served as the Assignment Editor for KYW-TV. This was during the era of Vince Leonard, Mort Crim, Jessica Savitch, Bill Kuster and Al Meltzer.
Left broadcasting in 1978 to serve as Director of Public Affairs for the federal government for Joseph Califano, Director of Health Education and Welfare.
From 1981 to 1986, Bill returned to KYW Newsradio as the News Director. After 1986, he worked as a Sales Associate for Weichert Realtors in Moorestown, NJ for three years before returning to the Federal Government as Director of Public Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency in Philadelphia. He also managed the Chesapeake Bay Program in Annapolis, MD, was Counter-intelligence Officer for EPA in Philadelphia, and Storm Water Coordinator, Water Protection Division, Philadelphia, PA.
Formally retired but returned to work in the field of real estate with Weichert Realtors. He lives with his wife, Rae, in Moorestown, NJ and has two sons. Oldest son Bill is married and lives in nearby Cherry Hill, and youngest son Jim, lives in Philadelphia.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photos and bio originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Bill Toffel
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