Money was tight and immediate opportunities arose, prompting him to forgo his 2nd degree and hit the ground running after being recruited to a local radio station in Monmouth, IL to join them as a lead on-air talent. Here Jim Mudd went from being a young Kentucky kid with ambition to a famous new kid on the block in Illinois, impressing the stations audience with his articulate deep voice and incomparable wit. He amassed an audience so impressive that he was plucked from station to station who grabbed at any chance to have Jim Mudd be the voice of their station.
After nearly 15 years in Illinois, Mudd seized an opportunity to move his wife and then four children to Cedar Falls, Iowa where they courageously jumped into radio station ownership in 1973. KCFI was an AM radio station that needed revival by a fearless leader and a powerhouse broadcaster. Jim committed years of running this station by creating content, broadcasting his voice and also selling and producing the ads that ran on it while Cecelia managed the books and nurturing of their now 5, soon to be 6 children.
KCFI struggled to turn around, but its ultimate demise was the catalyst that ignited the conception of an advertising agency. During this test run of entrepreneurial vigor, Jim built relationships with business leaders in the community, and one that proved to be more significant than others. It was Mr. John Deery, Sr., a successful Cedar Falls auto dealer who said, “Mudd, you outta start your own agency.” Mr. Mudd stammered for a split moment at the concept while Mr. Deery began to write on the back of his business card, “JIM MUDD ADVERTSING.” He handed it to Jim and said, “Here you go, now you’re in business.” While Mr. Mudd had been doing The Deery’s advertising for the prior years on his own station, it was in this moment when his perspective shifted, and he reimagined the application of his expertise.