(Allenton) The airwaves in the Dodge County area will never be the same again with word of the death of veteran broadcaster John Moser. The news was announced Friday by Moser’s friend and fellow announcer Bill McCollum on the Barn Show on AM1430 WBEV and DailyDodge.com.
McCollum explained that Moser went hunting in Mount Horeb and failed to answer calls from family Thursday evening. When authorities investigated, they discovered that Moser had passed away. McCollum says everyone is “devastated.”
“If there is a silver lining here, it is that John did die doing what he loved,” he said, “and that was being outside and hunting.”
Moser was born in Allenton, Wisconsin. He joined “Uncle Bill” McCollum on the WBEV Morning Show in Beaver Dam in March of 1973. Moser and McCollum quickly became friends on – and off – the air, co-hosting the morning show together until 2016. McCollum stepped away for health reasons while Moser went into semi-retirement, stepping down as general manager but staying on the morning show alongside John Kraft.
“And over these many, many, many years that we did the morning show together John became a best friend,” MCCollum said, “and you know to me if feels like I lost a little brother.”
McCollum went on with the Barn Show Friday after the announcement noting that it would be what Moser wanted.
“You’d probably see some lightning, you’d probably hear some thunder and John would probably say ‘McCollum what the hell’s the matter with you, get that Barn Show music going’,” he said with his voice cracking, “All right John, you’re still the boss man.”
During his tenure, Moser was a news announcer, disc jockey, marketing consultant and general manager.
WBEV/Good Karma Brands Founder and Chief Executive Officer Craig Karmazin called Moser “a friend, mentor, manager, leader and all-around wonderful person who embodied and embraced [Good Karma’s] core values from the moment the company began.”
Moser had been at WBEV for nearly a quarter century when Karmazin bought the radio station in 1997, the first acquisition in what would become a rapidly growing sports broadcasting company. Moser often quipped about going to church and praying the first time he learned that a 22-year-old kid was going to be his new boss.
Karmazin notes that, even as station manager, Moser would come into the station every Saturday or after hours for severe weather coverage. In his spare time, when he was not hunting or with his family, Moser volunteered with multiple non-profits. Among other things, he spent hours cooking burgers in the Rotary booth at the Dodge County Fair each year.
“John would volunteer without ever being asked,” Karmazin said, “he accepted me, taught me, and bought the ever-evolving Good Karma Brands vision with all of his heart…we would not be who we are today without John.”
Moser remained a fixture on the WBEV Morning Show over six different decades until his retirement on December 31, 2020. During his farewell broadcast, Moser reunited with McCollum for a final send-off. Listeners spent four hours calling into the show sharing stories and saying their goodbyes. They heard from friends, advertising partners and colleagues past and present. Moser’s final broadcast on the 3000-watt AM radio station was also video streamed on the world wide web in full-color, 4K.
The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association in 2020 recognized Moser with a Local Legend award. He was set to be honored alongside McCollum, but the ceremony had to be delayed until 2021. It is the first time in the history of the WBA that broadcasting partners from the same station are to be recognized together.
“This has been a very special privilege,” Moser said of his career in Beaver Dam radio during the final minutes of his farewell broadcast, “Thank you for letting me be part of your lives.”