Career Capsule: In addition to hosting mornings at KADI Marla is Executive Director for a non-profit, Dream Network, bringing hope to fatherless and orphaned children and an author. Growing up in Oklahoma, she loved to fish, spend lots of time with family, play the piano and sing, she always had solo parts in the school and church musicals. She moved to Missouri to attend Bible College. Shortly after college, she began to record radio and television commercials. Throughout the years, she continued recording commercials for clients and businesses. She began hosting the KADI Morning Show on 99.5 KADI in 2019. In 2020, she added the midday show to her repertoire.
She has two grown amazing sons, Stephen and Christian who live nearby in the Show-Me state of Missouri. Her passion to inspire hope and encourage listeners and readers is the driving force behind her unstoppable zeal for life.
Marla, tell us what’s new at KADI … news, changes, & whats new with YOU… etc?
KADI is excited to be working on our Fall radio concert filled with artist interviews and their hit songs.
Dream Network just finished collecting awesome school supplies for the 84 boys living at a Boys Ranch in Missouri.
Marla is beyond blessed to announce that her first book is being published at this very moment! The book is called “Hope Always Wins” and will be released this fall!
How have you been affected by the pandemic, on and off the air?
I had COVID almost a year ago. I had a fever for a couple of days, a cough, lost taste and smell and was quarantined for 10 days. I was very aggressive with eating only healthy fruits and vegetables and got lots of vitamin D fishing and jeeping. I recovered in about 4-5 days. I assisted my son through his bout with COVID 10 months later and still had antibodies and did not get it again.
On-air, I refuse to be downcast or talk about anything that would cause any kind of fear in the hearts of my listeners. That’s a really big deal to me. I believe we serve a God who is bigger than COVID.
As you know, many of our large events that our radio station would normally be a part of, have been cancelled. I’m a firm believer in herd-immunity so all of the less-than-effective responses to this virus are concerning to me. I’m looking forward to the virus running its course and the world finding new things to talk about.
What is the best show advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Best Advice: Keep your breaks tight and keep to one subject per break.
Worst Advice: Listeners want perfect radio.
There’s a reason REALITY SHOWS rank the highest viewership on TV. People like authenticity. BE REAL. Authentic is more important than perfection, every time.
What are the biggest challenges working with a co-host, and advantages?
Challenges: You must learn to read each other…learn cues your co-host gives when they need help in a convo. When they are stumped or need an “out” to move on.
Advantages: No need to fill dead air-time. Higher energy with two brains and two mouths going.
ALWAYS encourage, never be demeaning on-air. Lift one another up ALWAYS.
Whats your feeling on podcasts, should air personalities have one?
Podcasts seem to be very effective. They require another level of dedication and work but appear to be worth the effort. I have not personally gone down that road at this time but I’m not opposed when the timing is right.
Where will new up and coming air talent for Christian Radio come from?
A lot of our new artists are coming from church praise and worship bands. Thankful for the commitment of the church to keep praise and worship a priority! Looking forward to new music coming from our young people spending time with Jesus and getting downloads of lyrics and music straight from our Almighty God…that’s where supernatural favor comes into play.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian air talent?
I believe that Christian air talent is facing everything everyone else is facing as the enemy of our soul is seeking whom he may devour. The biggest obstacle I see, is overcoming fear. Christian air talent must be close to Jesus. We have an incredible opportunity, not only to entertain, but LEAD. WE MUST LEAD IN STRENGTH. We cannot succumb to fear-chatter. Standing on Joshua 1:9, our message must be strong and courageous. There has never been a more important time to have a personal relationship with Jesus to help you speak HIS truths on the air. We must pray over our shows. Pray over our words and pray for wisdom and discernment as we do our show prep. My prayer is that everything we do and say brings glory to God.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
Growing up, I occasionally listened to Casey Kasem and Delilah. What I gleaned from Delilah was; have authentic conversations with callers. Give credibility to feelings. As Mr. Rogers once said, “Feelings are mentionable and manageable.” I enjoy having callers on my show. Some on-air talent prefer to record and edit calls. I find that navigating a LIVE convo is fun for all involved. I think we all appreciate someone carefully contemplating a response. The more authentic, the better. Real life speaks volumes to listeners.
Casey Kasem always shared fun facts. I loved hearing the “inside scoop” on a song or something personal about the artists. I try to share insider info about artists every chance that I can. You could always tell that Casey did most of his show with a smile on his face…incredibly important. One of the biggest compliments a listener can give me is, “I could just see you smiling when you told that story.” I truly believe that when you smile, your voice smiles.
I feel incredibly blessed and honored to be a voice on the radio and especially Christian radio. My prayer is that God is glorified and my listeners are reminded that nothing is too hard for Him. They are never too far from Him. And, their miracle may be just around the corner. My message; keep praying, keep believing and never give up!