On-air radio personality Sarada Connors never planned on creating and hosting her own show on AM 740 KVOR, a station that draws about 45,000 listeners a week.
But she did.
Our Town, broadcast on Saturdays from 3-4 p.m., was developed four years ago after Connors connected with the Colorado Springs community while hosting the Radio Shopping Show, a radio program that provides deals to listeners while also promoting local businesses.
Her live show, broadcast in a charming studio off Corporate Drive, provides an avenue for authors, musicians and rising professionals making a difference across the Front Range to get their message out across the airwaves.
“The show is a general concept, but it’s all in the delivery,” she said. “Nothing excites me more than leaving a show on Saturday and getting an email the next day or week from an organization saying its volunteer needs were filled after being discussed on the show. It makes me feel 10 feet tall and bulletproof.”
The 39-year-old is now the only employee [and currently Employee of the Month] at Cumulus Media, with roles on air and in sales and management.
How did you get to Colorado Springs?
I was born and raised in Sonoma, Calif., and moved here in 2005. My brother was a sommelier at The Broadmoor hotel’s [former restaurant] Charles Court, and I got a job at its golf course, serving beverages. I left The Broadmoor and was hired at Garden of the Gods Club and was later promoted to food and beverage manager. In 2009, I had the opportunity to do sales and be a co-host on AM 740 KVOR’s Radio Shopping Show, structuring offers with businesses and taking on-air calls from shoppers. I have that natural promoter instinct and if I’m passionate about it, everyone is going to know. So I ran with it and eventually developed the skills to talk and entertain people on the airwaves.
What are your responsibilities at Cumulus Media?
I started at Cumulus as a certified branding consultant. We build everything around the company’s message. We probably do at least 18 hours of training a month, which I like, because in radio life, the money is on the sales team.
I’m also the Sweet Deals Manager, working with local businesses for certificates in exchange for airtime. It’s not like a Groupon deal — it’s thousands of deals for real advertising. The businesses are getting a produced commercial like they paid cash for it.
How does Our Town connect the community?
In 2012, I left the Radio Shopping Show and started my own show called Our Town; I own it and develop it within KVOR limits.
My vision for the show has been to spotlight people doing great things in the community. I love the interviews. For example, I remember when I had John Tiegen on the show [a former Marine sergeant who saved lives during the 2012 Benghazi attack]. This was before his book and the movie came out. He lives in this area and I had no idea.
I want Our Town to be raw and fun, revealing unique things happening in the community.
How can Colorado Springs retain more young professionals?
Businesses can retain more young professionals through a fun culture and team building. Yes, I need to pay my bills — money matters — but if the job is fun for me, that’s when I want to do it, I thrive at it and it impacts other people.
What advice do you have for other young professionals?
If they want to move up, they need to work on their leadership skills. Nobody wants to follow someone who is just negative, demanding and won’t set the example and be the example. Leadership is huge for me. If you hone your skills, people naturally want to be around you.