AUGUSTA — After passing up a chance to do radio in Portland in 1963 when his map put it too close to the Arctic Circle, Maine broadcaster and New York transplant Richard “Dick” Hyatt arrived in the capital city in 1983 and never left.

“Maine is fabulous,” he said. “There’ve been times I’ve been on a mountaintop in Maine in the summer and I look out and I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this. In winter, I look out over the mountaintop and think, ‘They’re not paying me enough.'”

Recently he was inducted into the Maine Broadcasting Hall of Fame for his longevity and for his contributions to the industry.

Hyatt came to the Pine Tree State 30 years ago to purchase WRDO-AM/FM in Augusta, today’s 92 Moose. “It was every DJ’s dream to own a radio station,” he said.

Moose figured in his plans as well.

“As anybody from away is, they’re enamored of lobster and moose,” Hyatt said. “I had in mind I’d like to have a moose as a mascot.” He even had a moose costume made for a mascot. “But I was not smart enough to call it 92 Moose,” he said. “The next owner did.”

Hyatt’s station was in the tall building at 45 Memorial Circle, and his neighbor, Mike Burns, owner of Burnsie’s Sandwich Shop, told him he’d have to go far outside the city to see a moose.

That wasn’t the case.

“The first week I came out of the bank building, I saw a commotion over by Burnsie’s,” Hyatt said. “It turned out there was a moose loose. The cops were trying to corral it, and it started to charge at us.”

The animal was later captured.

Burns turned to him and said, “I hope you appreciate what your chamber of commerce has done for you today,” Hyatt recalled. “That was my introduction to Maine, and my first and last moose sighting.”

Hyatt started in broadcasting as a disc jockey in the Poughkeepsie-area market in New York, learning engineering and management on the job. “I was very fortunate to have experience in just about every area in radio,” he said.

He was here for the ice storm of 1998 as well, having to replace an antenna on the stub of a broken tower on Blackcap Mountain in Eddington.

Hyatt doesn’t climb towers; he hires someone to do that work. “I do the engineering, do the studio and transmitting maintenance, but I do not climb.”

Now semi-retired, he’s built four radio stations over the past four years for The Presence Radio Network, operated by the Roman Catholic Church: WWTP FM 89.5 in Augusta, WTBP in Bath, WXBP in Bangor and WXTP in Portland.

Hyatt said he was recommended for that job by a client who owns a Protestant radio station.

Hyatt, who is single, is a skier and a sailor, keeping a boat in Boothbay. All his radios — including those on the boat — work well.

Hyatt remains active in the community groups and organizations and plays the piano at St. Augustine Church and sings at St. Mary of the Assumption Church.

Hyatt said he was surprised to be nominated to the Maine Broadcasting Hall of Fame and is only the second engineer to be so honored.

Suzanne Goucher, president and chief executive officer of the Maine Association of Broadcasters, said the group solicits nominations from its membership and then a committee reviews the nominations for longevity in the industry and contributions to the broadcasting industry and the community. “We love it when the engineers get recognized,” Goucher said. “They’re the unsung heroes of broadcasting. They keep everything working.”

Hyatt, Joe Martelle, who started in 1962 at WFAU in Augusta and was fired for changing the format, and then went on to work for many years in Portland, and Karen Hill, a senior account executive at WBLM in Portland who received the broadcast achievement award, were all inducted into the hall last month.

Betty Adams — 621-5631 [email protected] Twitter: @betadams