Radio Ink magazine recently recognized New Hampton alumnus Bill Moyes ’66 in their November 2017 feature “The 25 People Who Made the Biggest Impact on Radio Over the Past 25 Years” We were thrilled that, along with this achievement, Bill shared a little more of his story.
NHS: How did you get started with radio? When did you know it was something you wanted to pursue as a career?
B: The whole thing started at New Hampton, actually, and quite by accident. I was in the generation where a lot of parents told their kids they ought to become engineers because that was the key to lots of good jobs. New Hampton had a radio station that broadcast throughout the campus and I signed on–at age 14 I guess–as an engineer to work on the transmitter and equipment. But one afternoon, someone who was scheduled to be the DJ didn’t show up and they asked me to sit in. I did it, and I fell in love with it.
After that, I jumped at the chance to go to a college that had a fully commercial radio station, Dartmouth, and I spent 30 to 40 hours a week at the station and wound up being the DJ on their top-rated afternoon show. Just pure fun! From there I started working at stations in Keene and then Bangor in the summers; I loved it and made decent money for a summer job.
NHS: What was the biggest surprise in your career?
B: I’d say it was when another Dartmouth guy I met in grad school (Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth) figured out that radio could be a good business–both buying and selling them–and serving stations with research and consulting. I knew it was fun as a pastime, but I really didn’t understand its profit potential until he explained it to me.
We became business partners and that partnership lasted for over 40 years, during which time we owned 35 radio stations in small towns like Colorado Springs where I live today, as well as bigger cities like Seattle and Minneapolis. At the same time, I launched what became a pretty large audience research and consulting firm serving stations in almost all of the top 100 US markets and 22 foreign countries, and we started a satellite-delivered station network, serving over 1,000 stations in the US at its peak.
We merged it with another company, became partners with the legendary Dick Clark and later went public in an IPO. I had never dreamed–when I sat down to be a DJ in Lane Hall–that it would ever lead to that!
NHS: What advice do you have for young alumni looking to get into your field?
B: Some people have the view that traditional media–like TV, radio, and newspapers–are dead, and that the only media for the future is on the internet. Well, newspapers are very seriously challenged, and I don’t see that turning around, honestly. But TV is still thriving and 93% of each age group from 18 to 54 listens to radio in the course of a given week, believe it or not. Even 91% of teens listen in a given week as a way of finding new music. Those are the official statistics from Nielsen, the ratings company, and those numbers have changed very little over the last 10-20 years. Sure, people are spending less time when they tune in, but they are still listening way more than people think!
My advice would be to try to land a job in a big market where there is still significant money being spent on TV and radio–the top 25 ranked markets are the best. And the best place to learn and grow–generally speaking–is in the sales side of things.
NHS: Are you still active in the business?
B: I am still doing research and consulting for a select group of stations; I’ve worked with them for many years, and I’ve been involved on a big national ad campaign for radio recently. We’ve developed a program that the Radio Advertising Bureau in New York is about to make available to all stations in the US, so you may be hearing it soon. It features my voice and was developed using our copy and music research. It has proven to convince just about anyone who hears it about radio’s rather incredible power–in an undeniable way. You can hear a quick sample on YouTube.