Broadcast pioneer receives Kindness In Action recognition
HATTIESBURG, MS. - Charles Holt, 95, is this week's Kindness In Action recipient. Throughout the majority of his life he has been active in the sales, marketing, and broadcast industry.
In the Pine Belt community Holt is considered a broadcast pioneer. He has owned multiple radio and television stations at one point in his life. "I owned 11 radio and 1 television station" said Holt.
"When I was 7 years old, my father bought a radio home and I heard Amos 'n' Andy and I said I want to be in radio" said Holt.
Holt started his broadcast career in the 1930's. He remembers the first time he went on air in Birmingham, Alabama.
He said someone he worked with made him get on air, “'Charlie get up to the microphone and make a station break', well I made a station break" he said.
“'This is WBRC at the back of the hotel in downtown Birmingham'" he said out loud. "I knew then my career was going to be broadcasting" said Holt.
Holt never graduated from high school and was an orphan at the age of 16, but managed to become a successful broadcaster and businessman.
He aired as radio personality in Alabama, Mississippi, and even for the Marine Corps during World War II.
He said, “I served as a radio base reporter, that was a great experience.”
“I have been in all four major radio networks NBC, CBS, mutual broadcasting. And all three TV networks, ABC, NBC, CBS" said Holt.
He continued, "NBC offered me a job twice, and my wife said we are not going to go to New York so we turned it down.”
Holt said he likes to help young broadcasters in the business. "Hiring young starter students and work with them on their voice control, and how to ad lib, and teach them how to be a radio announcer" he said.
He has helped the the Broadcast business expand by being involved in the Sales and Marketing sector.
In the 1970's he was the co-founder of Sale and Marketing Executives International. A few years later, he became International President of the organization and traveled all around the world giving hundreds of speeches.
Holt said, "One of the great reasons is you meet a lot of fantastic people that are director of sales in their corporation. You learn how to sell a lot of great products for sales and I love the marketing part of it."
“In selling radio, you are selling an idea, you are not selling an object" Holt said. "So you got to really know your product, and you got to converse properly with people you are selling it to, in order to make a sale.”
To this day he is still fond of the Broadcast business and owns WHSY radio station in Hattiesburg.
“In a few weeks I hope I can put that walker away, and walk on my own, and I want to get back to work as soon as possible I love the broadcasting business" said Holt.
Holt turns 96 at the end of July and according to him he has no plans of retirement.
"It's been a wonderful career and I have lived an exciting life" said Holt.