Pride of the Pine Belt: Charlie Holt

© Charlie Holt
© Charlie Holt

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - At ninety years old, Charlie Holt still goes to work every weekday doing what he loves best, running a radio station.

He developed his passion for broadcasting as a Birmingham High School student in 1936, when he would visit local radio stations after school.

Holt then worked as a radio announcer in Mississippi and Alabama. When World War II broke out, Holt joined the Marines and became a base radio announcer in North Carolina. In 1948, Holt moved to Hattiesburg.

Holt explained, "Marvin Reuben, who built WDAM, and I built WHSY radio in 1948. And then Marvin had a chance to go back to Birmingham as a sports announcer for WBRC, so he left. So I began buying up stock in the company so I owned all of the radio station."

Charlie Holt also owned stations in McComb and in Louisiana. During his long career, Holt also mentored many up and coming radio personalities and those who got their first break in the industry like Bill Fulgham.

"I am a radio engineer and I had no experience in 1966 and Charlie Holt changed all that. He gave me a chance to help build his new FM, Laurel's 104.5 at that time. And it's been 45 years since then, " said Fulgham, "And Charlie Holt has given hundreds of people their start in this business."

Holt has also witnessed dramatic changes in broadcasting over the years.

"You have a different type of people that work in broadcasting now. Most people now are very professional and that is good but back in those days, the pioneer days, we all were learning about broadcasting," said Holt.

Charlie Holt sees the changes in broadcasting as positive moves that he's been happy to be a part of.

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