From the rural community of Stettler to Red Deer and a strong promoter of small communities, popular radio disk jockey Michelle Nielsen has moved to the big stage in Edmonton.
Working at BIG 105 as the host of Morning Buzz weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. since February 2007 in Red Deer, she now starts at 102.3 Now Radio.
“I’m proud of being from a small town, and proud to be from Stettler,” said Nielsen, who graduated in 2000 from William E. Hay Composite High School.
“When you’re on air in a city like Red Deer, you’re talking to central Albertans. And so many of them live in a small town, or from a small town – it’s just another way I can relate to them.”
After completing broadcasting school in Saskatoon, she started her career working the morning show in Wainwright for one year, before moving closer to home in Red Deer.
Now in Edmonton, she intends to further promote small-town life.
“So many people have lived in small towns and they can relate to the stories I share,” said Nielsen.
“I have always tried to be really local – that‘s what a regular radio station has over satellite radio.”
With mixed emotions, she leaves Red Deer after she was contacted by the director of Now who was keen about her skills.
“As much as I love working in Red Deer, this really is a career move,” said Nielsen, whose morning show in Red Deer featured the Morning Funhouse, games and prizes for callers and the Buzz Scuzz that focused on Hollywood gossip.
“Working in a major market is a big step up, and a great way to get your name out there.”
As she prepares for the big stage, she is not certain what her new show will feature.
“The only thing I know for sure is that it will be very interactive with the audience,” said Nielsen.
“For now, I just want the success I’ve achieved in Red Deer to carry over in the Edmonton market.”
“My job is to win over a new city, and that can be pretty scary.”
“I wish I could pack up all of my central Alberta listeners and move them to Edmonton with me.”
She is very grateful to everyone who has tuned in to her show the past three-and-a-half years.
“Your support and well wishes have meant the world to me,” said Nielsen.
Working in radio brings out the best of her talents and passions.
“I get paid to be myself,” said Nielsen.
“I don’t think there’s anything easier or more fun than that.”
“The connection I’ve made with my listeners means so much to me.”
“It’s always so exciting when someone you’ve never met comes up to you and tells you how much they enjoy listening to you.”
Her passion for radio and communications was discovered in Grade 9, when her teacher encouraged her to complete a test that indicates what vocations or careers are most suited for a person.
“I did one of those tests that tells you what jobs you might be good at, and radio was one of them,” said Nielsen.
“As soon as I read it, I knew that was it.”
“It had never occurred to me that the people I listened to on the radio were getting paid.”
She also got the opportunity to job shadow for a morning at Q-14 radio in Stettler.
“And after that, I was hooked, “said Nielsen.
With the frills and thrills of the job, she has been abroad.
A month after starting, she got to go on a work trip to Mexico.
Then, in 2008 and 2009 she was part of a team that broadcast live from a Sandals resort in Jamaica for a week.
Nielsen is now looking forward to establishing herself in her new position and repeating her success in her previous positions.