Ed Hammond started his radio career in 1974 at Gospel/Christian station WPEO in Peoria. He’ll end his career this week at WMBD, also in Peoria, where he’s been since 2000, covering local news, doing play-by-play sports, and as the News Director for the past five years. Radio Ink spoke to Hammond about his long and successful career and asked him if he had any advice for kids who want to be on-air radio stars.
Radio Ink: Why did you get into radio in the first place?
Hammond: I at first wanted to be a TV weatherman. But a chance visit to a radio station (WPEO) while on my lunch hour while working in the stock room of a local bank latched me into my first job in radio. And I never looked back. While I had no intentions of covering news full time when I entered the business, I found myself enjoying the fact that every day is different. You never know how the events of the day are going to pan out. It keeps you on your toes to adjust to any given situation.
Radio Ink: Why are you retiring?
Hammond: I turn 65 this coming Monday and a couple of months ago, I came to the realization that I was ready to step away from the full-time game. I have two daughter, both married, my youngest with my one and only grandchild (JJ) who is almost two. While they live nearby, I wanted to have the opportunity to spend more time with them and him. Also, for the past 45 years in some kind of capacity I have not had a life. I would like to have part of my life back while I’m still healthy enough to enjoy it.
Radio Ink: What are you going to miss the most?
Hammond: I keep telling folks I will miss the people, but not the work. By the people I mean everyone at the radio stations and everyone I get to be in contact with on a daily basis.
Radio Ink: What advice to you have for kids that want to get into radio on the air?
Hammond: I always say try to learn all you can about the business but don’t tell anyone you know it, because then you’ll end up having to do everything. But as I told the local paper “I just kind of rolled with the flow and took the punches that went along and tried to say yes to just about every opportunity that came along.” Take advantage of any opportunity because the more versatile you are in this business, the more you will survive.
Congratulate Ed on a great 45 year radio career at [email protected]