Bob Hoene’s broadcast career started in 1971 as an instructor in the Radio and Television Department in the Journalism School at UM. Bob moonlighted as play-by-play announcer for the Griz on KGVO Radio while helping put the University radio station on the air. KUFM became Montana’s first public radio station and NPR affiliate.
Bob went to work in Helena for an ad agency and served as the executive director of the Montana Broadcasters Association from 1974 to 1997. Over the years the MBA Board of Directors was populated with future Hall of Fame inductees. This renowned group motivated and guided him through many successful years representing the broadcasters. Bob and his staff introduced sales education while rewarding high achievers with cash and recognition awards, devised the concept for a broadcast station directory, increased membership to record numbers, and hired a lobbyist, while improving communication and service.
Delivering on new ideas added expense; more income was needed. Bob developed a program with the Montana National Guard to fill unused broadcast time with paid messages, guaranteeing statewide coverage to non-commercial accounts and charging for the service. The idea blossomed in Montana and now every Broadcast Association in the nation uses the Non Commercial Sustaining Announcement Program, created by Bob, to help fund their organizations. Today the MBA and all State Broadcast Associations are comfortably subsidized by the NCSA program.
Meanwhile, Bob’s Advertising Agency, 5th Avenue, grew to become the most prolific purchaser of electronic media in the State. It was his great privilege to work with and for the many members of the MBA.