Radio aircheck fans are mourning the death of Richard Irwin who founded and operated the ReelRadio aircheck website.
Irwin, born 1951, Flushing, New York, grew up in Concord, North Carolina and worked at radio stations from age 14. By the time he started the Reelradio Repository, he had worked for about 10 radio stations, including programming KAFY, Bakersfield and KROY in Sacramento. He also wrote early Commodore 128 software to schedule music for radio stations
Just last month Irwin shut down the ReelRadio website for health reasons. He suffered a spinal injury in an accident two years ago.
Each week, the web site would list the "Reelradio Fab 40", a list of the top exhibits that were played by listeners to the web site for the prior week. Like the surveys printed by top 40 radio stations in their heyday, the Reelradio Fab 40 list showed an entry's current position on the list, what it's position was for each of the previous three weeks, and how many weeks it had been in the Fab 40 list.
By 2016, the web site stated that the membership fee would cover just six months at a time, but by 2017 this requirement was not being enforced. On September 24, 2017, new registrations to the website were closed, and donations were no longer being requested. A statement on the front page of the web site indicated that the Reelradio board of directors had voted to end the site, but would keep it operating while there was still money in its fund to pay licensing fees. Reelradio, Inc. planned to archive and preserve the site until such time that a qualified operator could be found.
However, as of May 2, 2018 the site was no longer online.