||Name: Jimmy Moore
MUM Degree: Master of Business Administration, 1985
Position: Station Manager and Co-Founder of KRUU Radio, 100.1 FM
Field: Nonprofit Community Radio
Location: Fairfield, Iowa
Interests: Musician, poet, Music Editor for Iowa Source magazine
Board Member: Fairfield Musician’s Club, Fairfield Cultural Alliance
Question: How does a grassroots community radio station in rural Iowa manage to get in-person interviews with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Candy Crowley, Amy Goodman, and Joe Biden?
Answer: 1) By being located in the town of Fairfield (home of MUM) during presidential campaigns, and 2) through the hard work of radio visionary Jimmy Moore.
Solar-powered KRUU radio airs an astonishing 80 locally produced shows — in a county of only 16,800 people. Its music library boasts tens of thousands of songs. Shows are broadcast around the clock.
Much of the credit for KRUU’s success must go to station manager Jimmy Moore, whose tireless work helped to birth the station in 2006 and who continues to drive its momentum.
To say that Jimmy is passionate about radio is an understatement. “Radio done right is an incredible experience,” says Jimmy, who earned an MBA from MUM in 1985. “It’s pure. It’s intimate. It's just you and the person talking to you.”
Jimmy and his friend Roland Wells got the idea for the station in the early '00s. Jimmy had been working as a tennis pro, musician and TM teacher. He'd traveled to Spain, France, Switzerland, India, the Philippines, Mexico, England, and Bahrain. But now he wanted to stay put in Fairfield and dive into something that would have meaning for him.
Jimmy and Roland drew up engineering specs for a community radio station and secured approval for a broadcasting license. Jimmy held town hall meetings to gauge community interest. It was there.
With donated funds, they purchased a modest brick one-story building on Second Street and set up a studio. Alliant Energy donated a 200-foot freestanding broadcast tower. Green Building Supply provided a floor. Pfizer donated furniture. A lot of people and organizations chipped in. But when launch day came around, Jimmy wasn’t quite ready.
“I begged the Advisory Board to put it off for two weeks,” he says. “But they said things would be just as crazy then, so just go ahead and do it now.”
At that moment, Jimmy recalled a piece of advice given to him by his father. “He used to say, ‘Do something, even if it’s wrong.’ So I jumped in.”
Filling up programming slots wasn’t a problem in Fairfield with its many artists, writers and thinkers. “There are a lot of people here with a lot to say,” says Jimmy with a knowing smile.
Early radio shows included “Politiking with Ari Berman” by a young graduate of the nearby Maharishi School who would go on to fame as a TV commentator and political journalist. BBC Filmmaker and MUM professor Stuart Tanner did a current events show of NPR quality, which still runs today.
The music library grew to require terrabytes of disk storage. The station's online broadcast, KRUUFM.com, started to draw more listeners, many from more than 40 countries.
Today, the station has an impressive catalog of shows, which include Around the Town, Free Speech Radio News, Blues Oasis, Planet Erstwild, Lyrical Venus, La Nueva Hora Latina, Fringe Toaste, Filmosophers, Icon Art Radio, Eclectic Audiophile, and more. Jimmy is frequently an on-air host.
While attending MUM in his MBA program, Jimmy learned the value of being a part of a group focused on creating greater consciousness and world peace. “At MUM I learned that anything is possible,” says Jimmy. “I learned that it’s important to take personal responsibility for what you do. Responsibility is something that’s inside of you, not outside.”
Jimmy works frequently with MUM today, both as an instructor and as a recruiter of talent for the station. “The Media and Communications department is one of the shining lighthouses of the university," he says. What he learned there he brought forward into his work at KRUU.
“This radio station gives voice to this community,” he says. “It’s a rich aural mosaic. I'm grateful to be a part of it. It's been an amazing experience.”