Former Billboard writer Mike McGeever died Feb. 19 after suffering a heart attack at home in Pottsville, PA. He was 48.

An experienced trade journalist and occasional radio presenter, McGeever was a key staffer as radio editor during the launch of Billboard's U.K. radio and retail-oriented trade magazine Music Monitor in January 1995. There, he worked closely with Billboard's then international editor-in-chief Adam White (now VP of communications at Universal Music Group International) and regular Billboard contributors Paul Sexton and Fred Bronson.

Along with Music Monitor managing editor Tom Ferguson (now Billboard's deputy global editor) and the magazine's charts manager Bob McDonald, he received the Billboard President's Award for 1996. Although Music Monitor folded in September that year, McGeever was subsequently transferred to Billboard's pan-European trade publication Music and Media.

After departing Music & Media in 1999, McGeever became a freelance writer for other U.K.-based music trade publications before returning to his home town of Pottsville with his partner Diana Dryden, who he married in 2004.

In Pottsville, McGeever became project manager for Pottsville's state-funded neighborhood revitalization program, Schuylkill Community Action. However, he also indulged his life-long love for radio by hosting a weekly show, "The Best of Brits and Beyond," on classic rock station WPAM/The Phoenix 1450. The station has confirmed that, following his death, the show will no longer be broadcast.

"I counted Mike as a friend for two decades," says Ferguson. "He was hugely respected among the radio community here and in Europe as a fine journalist, a massive radio enthusiast and a great man. I can't believe anyone ever had more fun working alongside someone than I had during our days at Billboard."

McGeever is survived by his mother, Helen, wife Diana and Thomas, his son from his first marriage.

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