In 1963, during a time when advertisers were pouring their money into AM radio, Mr. Kurtz founded WDVR, a 24-hour station playing adult contemporary music. Two years later, he quit his job at Philco and devoted his attention to his radio station.
Crammed into four small rooms in Germantown, Mr. Kurtz and his staff of seven within months made WDVR the most popular FM station within 100 miles of the Philadelphia region.
After a few years, Mr. Kurtz took on one of the original seven staffers, the outgoing Jerry Lee, as partner. Under Lee's direction, the station grew. In 1967, the station moved to its present location on Presidential Boulevard in Bala Cynwyd, and in 1980 it became WEAZ. The station changed its call letters again in 1993, becoming WBEB, nicknamed B101.
"He always owned one more share of stock than I did. In 1968, we billed $1 million," Lee said. "Today we bill more than $32 million."
The two men were a match. While Lee thought big and rode a chauffeured Cadillac to functions, Mr. Kurtz drove an older station wagon and avoided the party life. Both men were named to the National Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.
In addition to his son, Mr. Kurtz is survived by his wife of 42 years, Esther Mellinger Kurtz; a daughter, Ellen; five grandchildren; a brother; and a sister.
Friends may visit at 9 a.m. Saturday at the chapel at George Washington Memorial Park, 80 Stenton Ave., Plymouth Meeting. A memorial service will follow at 10:30. Burial is private.
Contact staff writer Gayle Ronan Sims at 215-854-4185 or firstname.lastname@example.org.