Bill Phalen2
Bill Phalen passed away at 73 (Photo courtesy of Cities West Publishing)

Cities West Publishing is saddened to announce its Chairman and CEO William “Bill” R. Phalen passed away on Thursday. He was 73.

In 1998, Phalen founded Cities West Publishing Inc., which is the parent company of PHOENIX magazine and Phoenix Home & Garden. Under his guidance, Cities West Publishing has become one of the leading city and regional publishing companies in the country.

Prior to making his mark in the publishing industry, Phalen enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the radio industry. He is a member of multiple Halls of Fame, served on five corporate boards and was active in several charities. Phalen also proudly served for six years in the U.S. Army and National Guard.

“Bill provided tremendous leadership and vision for Cities West Publishing and guided the company to great success,” said Cities West Publishing President Mike Shoemaker. “He was a tremendous businessman who built a legacy in two industries but more importantly he was a good person and family man, who cared about those around him. Bill will be greatly missed.”

During his radio career, Phalen founded or co-founded three broadcasting companies that acquired 24 radio stations throughout the United States. The 42-year Arizona resident also founded and operated KRQ-FM in Tucson and KZZP-FM in Phoenix.

Phalen served as a past president of the Tucson Broadcasters Association, was on the advisory board of the ABC Radio Network, and is a past member of the Walter Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees at Arizona State University.

In 2013, Phalen was inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was inducted into the Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he held a B.S. in Journalism. He was inducted into the university’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 2007. He later earned a master’s degree in Organizational Behavior from Norwich University in Vermont.