Friends embracing new adventure with radio show - KCTV5

Friends embracing new adventure with radio show

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A long-dedicated career is something to be proud of, but when that job comes to an end, it can lead to a new adventure.

There are three new voices behind the microphones on your radio dial at 98.1 FM KMBZ with longtime Kansas City reporter Mary McKenna, familiar host Darcie Blake and newcomer Mindy Hart.

"It's smart, savvy and provocative radio. It's really anything you would talk about in your circle of friends either at coffee, or happy hour or just sitting around in the back yard," Hart said.

The Radio Dish is celebrating two years of success, but it's not a typical talk show.

"We're what's called a 'bartered show,' since we sell our own advertising, we bring advertisers here. They're our advertisers, not the whole station's. In a way, we're our own radio station," McKenna said.

"We work hard at what we do. We own the show. We go out, and get our advertisers. We get our guests that we have on here. And the nice thing is, we own this," Blake said.

It's a show that began with a chance encounter at a meeting between McKenna and Hart.

"Mary and I were talking after a meeting one day, and I said, 'why don't you start your own darn show, and take me along for the ride. I don't have anything better to do' so she texted Darcie and Darcie said, 'I'm so gigged out, let's do it' and six weeks later we were on the air," Hart said.

Blake's voice, many people remember from her days at KUDL, and the text from McKenna called her out of semi-retirement.

"Since 1980 is when we started to know each other. Always best of friends, but never worked together. So, an opportunity to work together, and give each other a hard time and help the community again, it's what it's all about," she said.

Blake runs her own advertising agency on the side. She said, despite progress made, the communications industry is still dominated by men.

"I'm seeing that we're starting to move up in radio, and the same thing in advertising agencies. A lot of the agencies are owned by men. I own my own. When I go in, still, to talk to a client, a lot of times they're expecting me to walk in with another guy, and it's like, 'it's me!'" she said.

McKenna agrees and said it takes a thick skin to survive, as she has, for thirty years in the Kansas City market.

"It can be rather vile. And if you're prudish, you won't last very long in the business. But, as far as women being promoted, finally we're seeing general managers, program directors who are female, thank goodness, and we're seeing women who are not doing the overnight show, or the weekend overnight show. We're actually being promoted to daytime," she said.

Hart has experience in the non-profit world, helping victims of domestic violence and the homeless. She said The Radio Dish is not just for women and that about a quarter of their listeners are men.

"I love radio. I love the medium. I love the fact that we can get some quality content out there for women, and for men, that is entertaining and informative at the same time, and really motivate people," she said.

For all three women, discussing topics on the radio is like coming home.

Click here for more on each woman and The Radio Dish.

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