Charlie Dent, R.I.P.

CharlieDent2It is with deep regret that NHAB notes the passing of longtime broadcast executive Charles E. Dent, Jr., of Derry. Charlie died on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 following a long bout with cancer; he was 69.

Charlie served a seven-year hitch with NHAB from 1987-1994, serving as Treasurer, 1st Vice President, President, and Chairman of the Board.  His broadcast career, however, lasted far longer.

He graduated from the high school in his native Pulaski, Virginia in 1965.

During the next four years Charlie earned a BA in English at the College of William and Mary, serving as student manager of his campus station, WCWM-FM.


In 1970 he moved to New England as an account executive at Plough Broadcasting’s WCOP in Boston, rising through the ranks as local and, later, general sales manager.

Five years later he moved to Lawrence as general sales manager of Curt Gowdy’s WCGY and WCCM. From 1980-84 Charlie served in a similar capacity at WCAP in Lowell.

In 1984 Charlie moved to New Hampshire as general manager of the former WKBR in Manchester (now WGAM). There he met Janice Bailey and the two started the All Radio Marching Band in 1987, consulting WVNH in Salem (now WCCM). When Charlie became a part owner of WMDK AM/FM in Peterborough in 1987, Janice joined him as program director.

During this period Charlie served as a director of the Ad Club of New Hampshire.

From 1991-93 he was the senior account executive at WZID/WFEA in Manchester.
A general manager’s position beckoned and in 1992 Charlie joined WMVU in Nashua. Two years later he left radio for a time, serving as vice president of The Bedford Granite Group, an ad agency owned by longtime NHAB President B. Allan Sprague.

The attraction to radio was strong, and in 1995 Charlie returned to Nashua as general sales manager of WHOB-FM (now WFNQ), a position he held for five years.

He spent the next six years as the regional sales manager for Northeast Broadcasting’s WXRV in Haverhill, MA.

In October 2006 Dent formed Precedent Marketing, an advertising/copywriting firm, which he ran until his retirement in 2014.

For many years Charlie was associated with the student radio station at Hesser College in Manchester where he taught radio and communications courses.

In addition to his long involvement with broadcasting, Charlie was a talented musician, who frequently played the keyboard at various conventions and holiday parties.  He was also accomplished on guitar, banjo and the hammered dulcimer.  He was an active volunteer in dramatic productions at Pinkerton Academy in Derry and served on the board of the Robert Frost Farm.

Charlie leaves his wife, Marilyn, a daughter, Jenny Khan, her husband and two grandchildren.  No service is planned at this time.  Memorial donations can be made to the Jazz Foundation of America or The Friends of the Robert Frost Farm, PO Box 1075, Derry, NH 03038.

  1. Michael Fioretti
    Michael Fioretti
    June 8, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    A great guy ! I will miss him.

  2. Sean Sullivan
    Sean Sullivan
    June 8, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Charlie was my General Sales Manager at WKBR in Manchester from 1999 until 2002. He was a true professional, a wealth of community connections, a wonderful teacher and most of all a good guy. He will be missed.

  3. Keith Murray
    Keith Murray
    June 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Honored to have worked with him at WHOB. Had not seen him in many moons but enjoyed the time we worked together. Rest easy Charlie. Peace to his family.

  4. Max Cecil
    Max Cecil
    June 10, 2016 at 4:39 am

    I knew Carlie way back in the high school days. He was a great guy. It saddens me to learn of his passing.

  5. Adra
    June 12, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Deeply saddened to learn of Charlie’s passing, a genuine man who made an impressionable impact instantly upon meeting him. My condolescences to your family and love to Charlie where ever your free spirit is traveling. Will always think of you with a smile!

  6. Paul Buckley
    Paul Buckley
    June 12, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I worked with Charlie from 2001 – 2005 at WXRV, (92.5 “The River”) in Haverhill, MA. He was a ray of sunshine and wisdom and never did a day go by where I didn’t learn and laugh with Charlie. I was honored to work alongside Charlie, and I know many of my colleagues would say the same. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  7. Bill Wayland
    Bill Wayland
    June 24, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I’m glad, though I live and work in Massachusetts, that I still subscribe to the NHAB Newsletter. Charlie was a good friend, and I joined him often at the “Strange Brew”. I knew he was not well, but I did not know how “not well” he was. I wish I had known earlier, one last round at the “Strange Brew”.

    Bill Wayland
    WCAP Lowell

  8. neil macNevin (Tom Evans)
    neil macNevin (Tom Evans)
    September 12, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Charlie and I worked, and managed to have an abundant amount of fun together at old WCOP radio in Boston. His sense of humor made him an instant friend. I started to try to get in touch with him this morning (Sept. 10) and found out he had passed on a year ago. A good reason to keep in touch with old, valued friends. Something, I guess, most of us don’t always do. Rest in Peace, Charlie and thanks for the memories.

  9. Jennifer Cheatham
    Jennifer Cheatham
    January 23, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    He is missed!

  10. Larry E Streetman
    Larry E Streetman
    January 31, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Charlie and I were friends and worked together at WCWM at College of William and Mary 1965-1969. I had not seen or heard from him in nearly fifty years until a random email chat a few years ago. He was a great guy and I will miss not having been able to reunite!

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