Dave Moore was born in Minneapolis and grew up there. He briefly left the area to work at a Battle Creek, Michigan radio station in 1949, but returned to Minneapolis when he learned of job openings at channel 4 in 1950. Within an hour of walking into the station, he was working. At this time, the station was known as WTCN, but was purchased by WCCO radio in 1952. The WTCN call sign was recycled a few years later for channel 11, which eventually became KARE. Moore had a variety of jobs in the early years of channel 4, announcing and hosting for multiple programs. He began anchoring the news at 10 p.m. in 1957, then anchored the station's 6 p.m. newscast in 1968. In the mid-70's, Moore hosted a news magazine show on WCCO TV called "Moore on Sunday", which he hosted until he fell ill in 1997.
Moore, with other station personalities, had a penchant for comedy. In 1962 he began The Bedtime Nooz, originally the Midnite News,a satirical late Saturday night news show that also featured weatherman Bud Kraehling and others from the station. This lasted for about a decade, a period during which Moore appeared onstage and received acting training at the University of Minnesota. Moore had wanted to become a stage actor, so The Bedtime Nooz and other shows he appeared in offered outlets for his creativity. A most revered stage performance occurred at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, MN, in 1992. Dave starred in a production of "On Borrowed Time," by Paul Osborne. Playing "Gramps," the production was unique as it was directed by Moore's son, Peter. The production was considered so successful, that the company revived the show in 1993, due in no small part that the show's co-star, child actor Kirk Hall, Jr. , was going to "out-grow" the part of "Pud," the grandson of Gramps.
WCCO is considered by many to have originated the "happy talk" often used to attract viewers in modern local newscasts, at least among stations in the Twin Cities. It has been said that Moore's happy talk was merely a result of the camaraderie among the cast rather than a contrived plan, although his acting ability could have fooled people easily. Beyond that, however, Moore actually resisted many changes over the years to increase viewership. He was not fond of crime reporting, and didn't like using those stories as lead-ins for the news. Also, while Moore was a strong supporter of women's rights, he didn't like being placed beside a female co-anchor in the 1970s. Moore felt that having two people read the news distracted from the stories being told. His first co-anchor was Susan Spencer, replaced a few years later by Pat Miles.
Moore was a heavy smoker, which contributed his voice growing raspier over the years. Even as he aged and sported graying hair, he continued to be a popular figure. He kept busy, hosting the 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. newscasts and producing periodic hour-long documentaries under the name The Moore Report, for which the station won many prestigious accolades. 1984's "Hollow Victory: Vietnam Under Communism" won a George Foster Peabody Award. The documentary was made after the station spent a year and a half negotiating a 35-day visa to visit the country.
The anchorman's humble nature meant that he did not push for high salaries. While reporters in significant markets around the country negotiated more and more expensive contracts, Moore and other newscasters in the Twin Cities were modestly paid. In 1985, Moore stepped down from the 10 p.m. newscast, eventually retiring from the evening news in 1991.
In 1986, Moore published his memoirs and correspondence with viewers throughout his career, titled A Member of the Family (ISBN 0-9617-4230-5).
Two of Moore's sons, Andy and Pete Moore, began working on a play to remember their father's life. They struggled to structure the play, eventually deciding to base it on their own stories and recollections rather than creating a dramatic piece with an actor portraying Dave. Called Sons of the Bedtime Nooz, it was performed at the Great American History Theatre in Saint Paul in early 2005.