Minnesota broadcasting pioneer Bill Linder dies at 92Willmar broadcasting pioneer and philanthropist Bill Linder, whose family established radio stations in west-central and southwestern Minnesota as well as a Minnesota farm radio network, has died at age 92.
WILLMAR, Minn. (AP) — Willmar broadcasting pioneer and philanthropist Bill Linder, whose family established radio stations in west-central and southwestern Minnesota as well as a Minnesota farm radio network, has died at age 92.
Linder died Tuesday at Bethesda Pleasant View nursing home in Willmar, his son, Steve Linder, told The Associated Press.
A Minneapolis native, Harris "Bill" Linder Jr. became involved in radio in 1940 when his parents, Harris Sr. and Irene Linder, moved to Willmar to establish KWLM Radio. Then a student at the University of Minnesota, Linder was pressed into service as an announcer at the fledgling radio station.
After a stint in the U.S. Navy as a radio and radar instructor, Linder returned to Willmar to rejoin the family business, which also included his brother, Don Linder. Over the next couple of decades the Linder family established KMHL Radio in Marshall, KDMA in Montevideo, KWLM-FM (now KQIC) in Willmar and KMHL-FM in Marshall.
The Linders also started the franchising agreement that brought Muzak to west-central Minnesota through a KWLM subcarrier. The family founded Minnesota Electric Supply and the Linder Farm Network, which bills itself as the "Voice of Minnesota Agriculture," as well.
But Steve Linder told the West Central Tribune (http://bit.ly/18z1HbD ) that philanthropy was the passion closest to his father's heart.
"The word that keeps coming up is service," said Steve Linder, who followed his father into the business and is the third generation to run what is now Lakeland Broadcasting.
The Linders were among key givers to capital campaigns to build and expand the Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA. In 2010 the family was recognized with the Willmar Area Community Foundation's fifth annual Award in Philanthropy.
Bill Linder was on the board of directors of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association and became a charter inductee in the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001.
Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar.
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