August 18, 2008

Radio Was Bellbrook Man’s Calling


Some people have difficulty finding the right career, but not WFCJFM (93.7) radio morning announcer and program director Bill Nance of Bellbrook.

By the age of 11, Nance already knew that radio broadcasting was going to play a big part in his future.

"I won a citywide safety slogan contest when I was in fifth grade at Wilbur Wright," said Nance, a Dayton native who graduated from Patterson Co-op in 1968. "I wrote a safety poem and because I won, I got to read my slogan on the radio at WAVI."

After meeting the WAVI staff and having the opportunity to read his slogan on the airways, Nance was hooked. He went home and enlisted a friend in starting a quarterwatt radio station in his basement that broadcast to nearby neighbors in Dayton.

Still seeking broadcast experience, Nance joined a Junior Achievement chapter sponsored by radio station WAVI.

"We produced a weekly radio show and took turns announcing," said Nance, who also assisted WING staff as a DJ at local record hops and school dances. "In my senior year, I had a part-time job with WING. It's been my life for a long time."

Nance remembers being so driven to gain broadcasting experience that he jumped at an opportunity to assist a WING DJ announcing from Barnett's Furniture Store in Bellbrook on a Sunday.

Hopping on a bus after attending church, Nance didn't realize that the buses only went as far as the corner of Far Hills and East David Road. He ended up walking the rest of the way only to find that when he arrived in Bellbrook the program had only 15 minutes remaining.

Impressed by his enthusiasm and stamina, the announcer drove Nance home.

"My father died when I was young and he was buried in the Bellbrook Cemetery," said Nance, who remembers visiting Bellbrook while growing up. "My wife lived there as a small girl, so when we were looking for a house we thought of Bellbrook and living out in the country."

Nance met his wife Carol, a Dayton teacher, in 1971 and married her in 1975. The couple moved to Bellbrook where they raised their two children, Bill III, who is married with one daughter and works as a youth minister in Kentucky, and Jennifer Nance Lindsay, who is married and has a son.

Nance began his broadcast career writing copy, but with his smooth, pleasing voice, he was soon promoted to an announcer position.

In addition to working for WAVI, WDAO, WING and WGIC in Xenia, he briefly worked in television for Channel 22 in the early 1990s.

He currently co-hosts the three-hour "Morningview" program with Melody Morris on Christian radio station WFCJ and was recently inducted into the Dayton Area Broadcaster's Hall of Fame.

"Seeing how lives change with the kind of format we have and hearing amazing stories from people about how God is working in their lives is wonderful," said Nance, who is active in his Crossview Christian Church in Waynesville.

Nance also is an avid bike rider who rides more than 100 miles annually for the WFCJ fundraiser that benefits the Dayton Gospel Ministry.

Contact this reporter at (937) 432-9054 or [email protected]

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