Friends, Listeners React to DJ Fred’s Retirement from Radio after 38 Years
Radio in Eastern Maine is about to sound a little different than we're used to. Something will be missing after today.
For many, radio has always played an important part in their day-to-day lives. It used to be that radio was where people turned to get their weather, their news, their daily dose of positivity, and most of all, their music.
And the voices on the radio, well, they became the invisible passengers in the car, the jokester who helped the work-day pass by a little quicker, the friendly voice that picked you up when you felt blue.
Those voices are the familiar constants in an ever-changing world around us.
They're unmistakable, recognizable, and in some cases, legendary.
For those of us who grew up here in Eastern Maine, one of those voices, that has filled the airwaves almost 40 years, is that of our very own, DJ Fred.
From the time he hit the airwaves, playing tunes for fun at what was, back then in 1979, Husson College, to turning an iconic oldies station, Magic 95.7, into I-95, a Classic Rock Station, one thing has remained the same: that voice.
Cool with a touch of quirk, DJ Fred has spent decades informing us, entertaining us, and keeping us company with his unique sense of humor and delivery. An encyclopedia of musical knowledge which is only rivaled by what he knows of the history and ins and outs of this state, he's been the go-to guy for many of us, for many years.
For me, I've been listening to Fred Miller since I was 10. I literally have mixtapes that feature my middle school voice requesting songs from him, back in the day.
It was only a decade or so later, when I would come to first work with Fred, that I got to know the man behind the voice. And I'll let you in on a little secret, behind that voice, is a pretty great guy, too.
Fred's a down-to-Earth, hard-working, family man.
He's not one to make a fuss and prefers not to be the center of attention, despite spending years in front of a microphone.
He's done as much for radio in this market behind the scenes as he's done for it on the air, as a mentor, a manager, and at times even a maintenance man.
And that's why after today, when he signs off for the last time and enters the new chapter of his life, retirement, there's going to be a weird void where his voice used to be.
He loves his family, the community he lives in, and he loves this state. And someone who's worked as hard as he has, for as long as he has, deserves some time to reap the benefits of a job well done.
But before he unplugs entirely, and hits the Downeast Trail on his bike, there are a few folks, current colleagues, former co-workers, long-time listeners, who wanted to pass along their well-wishes to our fabulous DJ Fred. Here are just a small sampling of those:
"I can’t count the number of times that Fred Miller went above and beyond to help me. From stepping in during his show to record clients, to helping sell endorsements with professionalism and commitment, or the random call on a Saturday at noon during a live remote for some long-distance tech help. Fred always said yes and had the answers. I hope I always said thank you but I’ll say it again now – thank you, Fred. Happy for what you have to look forward to in a well-deserved retirement, but will miss having you around as a pillar at 49 Acme Road. We’ll keep playing the hits!" -Josh Whinery, Director of Digital Strategy & Sales Townsquare Media
"Fred has always made me laugh. He has a wicked sense of humor. I don't mean that in a "Mainer" type of way, he is just a funny dude. Also, I have never heard someone use the word "man" so frequently. Most of all, I will miss his MacGyver-like way of solving problems in this building. Every single time something goes wrong around here (which is a lot) my first inclination is to text, or call him, and he always had a solution. Not only that, he was a huge help during our Free The Z Turkey Drive over the years. If Fred was the human equivalent of comfort food, he'd be like a big bowl of mac n' cheese. Yes, that is a weird analogy, but it is true! He will be missed by all of us here at TSM, but I am really happy that he gets to move on to other things, in this next chapter of his life. To quote FM himself..."Shooby dooby, baby"-Kid, Z107.3 Morning Show Host
"I have appreciated my time with Fred as a sort of fatherly figure in my time here at Townsquare. One thing I've noticed having worked in various industries, is radio guys are genuinely good people that are down-to-earth, funny and easy to be friends with. Fred most certainly has embodied all of these qualities and I feel honored to have had some professional experience with him. He has informed me on many things that have enlightened me professionally and personally- things that I needed an awareness of that only he could provide for me- and I thank him for that. Have a happy retirement, good sir. I'll miss eavesdropping on your private conversations in the office next to mine."-Sarah Nickerson, from Z107.3
"I met Fred about 8 years ago, and he basically asked me why the hell I'd ever want to be in radio. I gave a long speech, trying to impress Fred, about how much I loved radio and all that sort of thing. He answered my story in that dry, cynical Fred way... he looked me straight in the eye and said, "I'll give you my shift right now if you want." Since then, Fred has become a mentor of the highest caliber, but also never afraid to give tough love when it was necessary. In a world of people just trying to be totally over-the-top nice, bordering on fake, Fred's always been one of the real-est people I know. I will miss our conversations about Nita Strauss and Taylor Momsen. And how he always wished Taylor would quit smoking, and maybe have a snack. But most of all, I'm just going to miss my friend Fred. Things will definitely never be the same around here, but the trashcans will be much safer."-JStew, I-95 Morning Show Host
"Fred, my Brother from another Mother, with the same last name. Fred is a radio guy. It’s in his blood. He found a passion and pursued it for all these years on the same radio station. Like Fred, I have the same passion and have been as fortunate to be able to do this for all these years, even more years than Fred, but not for the same station or in the same state. Or in my case the same country. But we have a mutual sameness in that passion. When I met Fred, I instantly liked him. And due to our dealings on a daily basis. respected him very quickly. Fred is also a very honest, open, down-to-earth guy. Just the kind of boss I wanted and needed at this point of my life and career. I am not going to share the almost daily conversations Fred and I have shared with each other over the years. Those were private and will remain so. But I’m sure going to miss having Fred in my corner and having him always be there for me in any situation. Fred was a great boss. And an even better human being. I will miss working with him, but I will treasure our friendship which will continue. Live your new dream every day in your next phase of life Fred. Enjoy your bucket list. And Thank you for being you."-Scott Miller, from Q106.5
"Years ago, the promoter of a Beatles tribute band concert at the Bangor Fair grabbed me out of the audience and asked me to introduce them. So, I stepped up to the mic and said, "Hey, man. I'm DJ Fred." I never felt cooler. Fred Miller is one of the best people I've ever had the honor to work with. I will miss your sense of humor and your professional attitude. So, one last time from 'Miss Cindy'.....Mr. Fred, take care, have fun, and stay healthy."-Cindy Campbell, from Q106.5
"I'm not sure how many $65 charges (inside joke) I've racked up over the past 10 years for the many, many times Fred has helped me out. Suffice it to say, I owe him a lot. I owe him for welcoming me into the building at a time when many changes were coming. I owe him for embracing those changes and handling them with ease -- and helping others do the same. Fred often has said he's just a guy who plays Aerosmith on the radio, but he's much more. He's a natural behind the mic and the keyboard. Of course, he's also a wavy-maned, groovy cat who's a great friend and a great boss. Thanks for everything." -Jeff Tuttle, DME
"I have known and worked with Fred for more than 15 years as a tower guy, contractor, and engineer. Well, even before that as a listener. Fred has always been a cool-under-fire professional as our calls were usually related to off-air emergencies and station problems. It was always a pleasure to work with him. I'm glad I've gotten the time to work with him and may have even learned a few things along the way. His presence around the office will be missed. I wish him a happy and well-deserved retirement!"-Mike Watson aka Engineer Mike aka The Electron Cowboy
"I have had the pleasure of working with Fred for the last 20 years. The man is a walking music encyclopedia. No one other than his wife Lisa, knows how much he worked on the nights, weekends and holidays to keep our 5 radio stations on the air and sounding good. I am proud to call him my friend, and wish him the very best in his retirement."-Chris Popper, Townsquare Media
"Fred! Thank you for hanging out with Eastern Maine for the better part of 40 years, and congratulations on a well-earned retirement! You gave me my first job in radio, and I’m forever grateful and thankful for the opportunity. I’ll throw on some Zeppelin today for you; congratulations again my friend!"-Jordan Verge, Former Townsquare Employee
"Dearest Fred, I'm not the first to say this but, "Hey, man!" I know you're a Joe Walsh fan, and I love this quote from him: 'You know, there’s a philosopher who says, “As you live your life, it appears to be anarchy and chaos, and random events, non-related events, smashing into each other and causing this situation or that situation, and then, this happens, and it’s overwhelming, and it just looks like what in the world is going on?" And later, when you look back at it, it looks like a finely crafted novel. But at the time, it don’t.' Another chapter closed, brother, and a whole new chapter yet to write. Please know that you've been a great friend through the years and blessing to so many. Thanks for all you've done to make life better for the rest of us. God bless, Nelson" -Nelson Jewell, Former colleague
"Fred, I'm so very happy for you! You've had such a fantastic career and helped so many broadcasters learn and do well in the industry. I really enjoyed working with you, man. You've got a big heart, and that always showed in how you worked with people, including me. Thank you for everything!"-Allison Bankston, Former News Director
"Fred Miller was a joy to work with. He always had something encouraging to say when I passed by him in the hallways and rarely did I ever see him without a smile! I wish everyone had the pleasure of working with someone like Fred. I know I'm grateful I got that chance!"-Jodi Hersey, Former News Director, Q106.5
"I worked with Fred probably 20 years ago. His voice is unmistakable! He's really a legend and the airwaves will not be the same. He was always great to work with, with a little dry humor and sarcasm in there, which made him especially funny! His voice will definitely be missed! I wish him the best!"-Susan Faloon, Former Afternoon Host
"I remember telling Fred before I left radio he was the best boss I ever had next to my dad. I still feel that way. He was always very supportive and I felt he cheered me on. Just a really good guy who helped make my few years in radio some of the best of my career. I certainly wish him the best and will miss DJ Fred on the air. I'm also a big fan!" -Craig Colson, Former News Director
"Just a word about having familiar voices in our lives can add to the sense of community we all enjoy in this great state."-Kevin Bennett, Photographer/Listener
"He's a great guy and I hope he enjoys his retirement."-Larry DeWitt, Longtime Listener
"To DJ Fred, I was shocked last night to find out about your retirement.. I have to say that it saddens me. I want you to know that there have been days I have been down, and you were the one to lift my spirits!! You have been a part of everyone’s life for years.... You are going to be missed and never forgotten!!!! I have enjoyed listening to you on the radio over the years, you are the one that kept me listening over the years! I always like just the music and then you gave it an extra kick. You even got me to call the station, which I do now often. I will miss the chances of bringing you lunch,, you will be greatly missed, it won’t be the same without you on air. You will never be forgotten! One of your biggest fans"- Mayor Tracy from Tideway Market!!"
"Good morning Fred! So, where to begin. First off, THANK YOU! You have touched many lives from behind the microphone. Your one-of-a-kind voice, your one-of-a-kind humor, it will all be missed by so many, including myself. Your many shoutouts you’d give to the towns, the businesses, the people, that was always so awesome to hear. I spend hours a day out there delivering heating fuel and driving a tractor-trailer hauling propane and you were always shotgun on the radio. You made the adventures so much better. Fred, from the bottom of my heart, thanks for the years of fun, enjoyment, and laughter. You’re going to be missed, but you deserve that retirement more than anyone. I hope you enjoy the heck out of retirement!"-Alex Demers, Longtime Listener
"I'm sad to hear about DJ Fred. He is my favorite DJ. I will miss hearing him. He has such a great and unique voice. Best wishes always, but you will be missed dearly."-Mary Klein-Drouin
"Those times indeed are emotional. When someone commits time and passion to something as long as Fred has, that tells so much about a person. All of you DJs change moments and times for so many people. The music you play, day in and day out, has meaning to so many. Music lifts the soul and eases the mind. Without all of you and dedicated people like Fred, we ( the listeners) wouldn’t receive the music, news and updates each day. Thank you to you all and best wishes to the one and only DJ FRED for allowing us all to keep on rocking in the free world"-Dan Bean, Longtime Listener
"I've listened to him for soooo long!!!! He's an icon!!!!! Twice I won concert tickets from Fred. FOREIGNER and SCORPIONS. When I won the foreigner tickets...Fred said....'Dennis...how bad do you want to see Foreigner?'.....I said...'OHHH FRED...URGENT" BUDDY!' He laughed his ass off live on air. He said...Well, thass good...cause yer the right caller...and you just won 2 tickets!!!!' I will never forget that." -Dennis Bean, Longtime Listener
In order to send Fred off with a fitting "parting gift", if you will, we reached out to long-time listeners, the Bean Brothers, Dennis and Dan, to help with a special surprise. Knowing of Fred's love of Maine, and knowing of the artistic talents of the Beans, we asked them to craft something befitting for a legend like Fred. Here's what they came up with.
Hopefully, he cherishes this the way we have cherished him, all these years.
As for me, I'll say this (in fact I said this to him when it was first announced that he was retiring) from tolerating the super-annoying, daily requests I used to make as a music-loving 10-year-old, to helping to shape my musical tastes through my earliest days as a Magic 95.7 listener, to then tolerating the super-annoying in-person incessant questions you would field when I first got into radio, 2 decades ago, and had no idea what I was doing...
Fred, as everyone else has already shared, and I only echo, you have an impact on so many of us. You had an impact on the kid me, the almost-adult me, and offered me a chance to get back to doing what I loved. The listeners will miss you. You've been their/our musical pal for decades. Your co-workers (both past and present) will miss you and the ridiculous amounts of knowledge you keep tucked away under those luscious locks of grey. But I'm psyched that you'll get to spend some time relaxing (I hope) and being with the ones you love.-Cori, Longtime Listener, I-95 Morning Show Host
Thanks for all you've done! Catch you on the flip side, Man.