An era in Rim country radio is coming to an end. After five years of waking up KMOG listeners, Suzanne Michaels is retiring.
In a letter to the editor, Michaels said she has loved every aspect of her career, including all the wonderful people she has met.
And those people have loved her. For three years in a row her fans and friends have named her Payson's friendliest person in the Roundup's annual "Best of Payson" competition.
Blaine Kimball, Michaels' boss at KMOG, said she will be hard to replace.
"She has been a real asset to the radio station and to the community," Kimball said. "She's been very good for all of us."
Michaels' happy, upbeat personality has been her standout feature since her classmates at Lutheran West High in Rocky River, Ohio voted her "Friendliest Person in the Class."
When describing Michaels in her yearbook and at just about any other time over the years, people have generally trotted out the old champagne standards -- "bubbly," "sparkling" and "effervescent" -- stopping just short of "she tickles my nose."
Those qualities -- nose tickling included -- have served Michaels well throughout her 24-year radio career. She spent the bulk of that time as an on-air personality for a classic rock ‘n' roll station in Reno, Nev. before moving to Payson and KMOG.
Her winning personality combined with a strong work ethic has made her hours on the air seem effortless. The easy flow of her work came from always being ready.
She never leaves her show to chance. She's in bed by 9 p.m., up by 3:30 a.m. and at work by 4 a.m. to make sure she has time to prepare for showtime at 6 a.m.
"I strive to keep the show fresh and to keep people interested," she said. "I prepare for all of my shows, and I don't ever play the same song in a week. That's my rule. There's enough variety out there to mix it up."
Michaels moved to Payson after her father died five years ago so she could share her home away from work with her mother, Audrey Holibaugh.
"She's my biggest fan, and she's my role model," said Michaels, who has two grown children of her own. "We just hold each other up. There just aren't enough hours in the day to spend as much time as I'd like with my family."
Now, retiring Sept. 30, Michaels will have the time she has dreamed of to spend with her family. She plans to continue to make her home in Payson, so you can bet that sparkle will be shining in new ways soon.