Wrestling icon Bill Apter sent shock-waves through the wrestling world two weeks ago when he left Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) and its sister magazines to accept a position as Editor-in Chief at World of Wrestling (WOW), a new magazine on the market published by H&S Media Inc.
Senior editor of PWI since its debut in 1978, Apter became a distinguishable figure to millions of wrestling fans, taking ringside photos at major wrestling shows around North America and hosting Scouting Reports, an interview segment that aired on Jim Crockett Promotions’ TV shows nationally in the mid-eighties.
Bill became so identified with PWI and its associated publications, renowned for not breaking pro wrestling kayfabe and treating it as a legitimate sport, that hardcore fans began to refer to them simply as Apter-mags.
After 28 years in the in the wrestling magazine industry Apter now finds himself at the helm of a publication that deals with pro wrestling in an open, and frank style. It was WOW‘s cutting edge philosophy of covering pro wrestling, along with its sleek look, that enticed Apter to make the jump.
“WOW got in touch with me, showed me the magazine and I loved it,” Apter told SLAM! Wrestling in a phone interview. “I loved the look of it, I loved its smart attitude, I loved everything about it.”
Apter sees his move to WOW as a challenge and a new opportunity to cover pro wrestling as sports-entertainment.
“I realized that Vince McMahon calls it sports-entertainment, Eric Bischoff calls it sports-entertainment and Hulk Hogan calls it sports-entertainment. WOW follows that trend in its coverage of wrestling.”
PWI Publisher and longtime friend Stu Saks says Bill Apter be missed.
“Bill’s departure leaves a gaping hole (here at PWI),” Saks told SLAM! Wrestling. “With Bill, we’re losing a lot.”
For Saks, who had worked side by with Apter for ten years, Bill is much more than just a colleague.
“Losing people is not unusual to this magazine or this business,” said Saks. “With Bill, however, it’s more like you’re loosing a close family member.”
The parting between the two sides was completely amicable, and Apter maintains relationships with his former co-workers.
“I miss everybody I worked there with,” admitted Apter. “I miss the camaraderie with the people there but I still keep in touch with them, although we don’t discuss business.”
Apter regards the contact he had with all the pro wrestlers and his work on PWI’s Lords of the Rings commercial videotape he co-hosted with the legendary Gordon Solie among his favorite memories of PWI.
“The biggest highlight of my stay at PWI was doing the Scouting Report for Jim Crockett Promotions.”