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William Bazzy: 1920-2009
Co-founder of Horizon House Inc./Microwave Journal
Microwave Journal mourns the passing last month of William “Leo” Bazzy, co-founder of Horizon House Inc. and Microwave Journal, at the age of 89. Mr. Bazzy was this magazine’s first publisher, and served as president and chairman of Horizon House for more than 50 years. He also founded and served as publisher of Telecommunications Magazine and other specialty publications dedicated to advanced business practices in multimedia communications and wireless engineering for commercial, civil and defense industries.
William learned the basics of electrical engineering and wireless communications from the Army Signal Corps, where he served as a non-combat engineer during WWII, upon graduating from high school. After serving his country, he became an integral member of WBZ’s radio engineering team. He led the technical team in the successful launch of WBZ TV in 1948, a first for New England, followed by a number of other innovations including live Red Sox games, in-studio debates featuring future-President Kennedy, and the area’s first live daily news. He then worked for NBC’s parent company RCA and other manufacturers to draft specifications in 1956 that became the universal standard for transmission of color television.
William left WBZ to found Horizon House in 1958. By joining in business with his brother Emil, who operated a printing press, they raised $10,000 to launch a new magazine called Microwave Journal. Ted Saad, an accomplished microwave engineer and industry entrepreneur, joined the two as a co-founder and served as the magazine’s first technical editor. Together, they worked with the IEEE to establish and grow what is now the annual exhibition aligned with the MTT-S International Microwave Symposium. Horizon House remains a family owned and operated business, located in Norwood, MA, the town in which William spent most of his life, along with his loving wife Salwa.
In his “Publisher’s Editorial”, appearing in the debut issue of Microwave Journal, William wrote: “Our objective is simply to offer a forum to the industry and be the means of communication for the people in this segment of the electronic field”. The idea was to create a magazine written for and by microwave engineers, covering not only the rapidly evolving technology, but also the people and companies driving that technology. William took a deep interest in what was going on throughout the industry, enjoyed meeting people and building the long-lasting relationships that ensured a stable supply of top-notch contributors and advertising support. He ended his editorial by saying “…we hope that this [the Journal] will enable the industry to keep in touch with one another, to keep the channels of communication open for the benefit of all”.
William could have never imagined at the time how vastly those channels of communication would evolve.
For most of the fifty two year history of Microwave Journal, there was only one distribution mechanism to transmit information to readers—the print publication. Then came the internet, and it provided our readers with the ability to access content not only via print, but also our websites, newsletters and webinars. Social media and blogs have encouraged our community to interact like never before. As an example, Microwave Journal webinars have attracted thousands of viewers, and the social networks have added thousands of members. The channels of communication have never been more robust.
The magazine continues to evolve, while adhering to its core mission of delivering practical design information and market analysis to its microwave engineering audience. This month’s cover feature on “Supporting the Warfighter: Adapting to the Changing Paradigm of the Defense Market” from Jeremy Wensinger of Cobham Defense Systems serves as an example of how the Journal continues to be a sounding board for industry leaders. It also illustrates how microwave companies continue to adapt the technology to meet current demands.
William Bazzy left a legacy that we’re all proud of here at the Journal. At a time when a fledgling microwave industry was recovering from the post-war economic downturn in the defense sector, he launched a publication dedicated to the technology, businesses and entrepreneurs he believed were poised for great success. Today, as we face another challenging economy, we’re committed to continuing his legacy and his mission, armed with an array of communication channels and poised for continued industry success.