William F. Brown Jr., the longtime owner of Batavia radio station WBTA, died November 29, 2014 after a brief illness. He was 91.
Following many years as public relations director of Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway, Brown became president and co-owner of WBTA in 1968. During his ownership, Brown focused on providing local service to his listeners. In a 2005 book titled “Serving Their Communities: 50 Years of the New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA),” Brown told author Stephen Warley that Buffalo and Rochester FM station didn’t hurt a small-market station like WBTA.
“You can’t get school closings, local weather and accident reports on FM,” Brown said. “You have to listen to the local station for that.”
His daily editorials on WBTA were recognized with awards from the NYSBA.
Brown was a Batavia native. He was a 1944 graduate of Canisius College and also studied at Yale and Fordham Universities.
He was very involved in the community and served on the boards of several community and religious organizations.
Besides broadcasting and writing about horse racing, Brown enjoyed sharing the history of Genesee County in books and articles.
Information on the life of William F. Brown, Jr came from his obituary in the Buffalo News.