By Alicia Doyle

The Writer
Specializing in Good News
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'Real Women, Real Radio'

Photo by Joseph A. Garcia / Star staff: Beth Rogers co-hosts "Real Women, Real Radio" on KVTA 1520 with Alexandra Dymond. The show highlights women in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties who have passions for what they do.

Show highlights female residents, their passions

Ventura County Star
/December 7 2007

When Beth Rogers ran for Congress in 2002 and asked Alexandra Dymond to work on her campaign, the two never imagined they were on their way to launching their own radio show that highlights remarkable women.

"I was so impressed with Beth and her intelligence, ability to articulate positions and breadth of knowledge, I told her she should do one of two things: either write a book or get her own show on the radio," recalled Dymond of Camarillo, Rogers' insurance broker for more than 25 years.

That was the inspiration behind "Real Women, Real Radio," a show voluntarily co-hosted by Rogers and Dymond from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturdays on 1520 AM KVTA.

Launched in March, the show features an hourlong segment highlighting remarkable women in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties who have passions for whatever it is they do, whether it is their work, hobby or sport.

Starting Jan. 5, the show will expand an extra half-hour, airing from 1:30 to 3, the hosts said.

"We want to encourage women to find their passion and to use the show as a how-to guide," said producer Jennifer Herrera of Camarillo. "If the topic is something that interests the listener, we want to be able to give them the information they would need to learn more about it."

Each interview also includes music and comedy as well as a "Women in History" segment, movie review and news.

"Our mission is to give recognition to those local women who have found what they love and are excited about it," Herrera said.

An insurance broker for the past 30 years, Dymond grew up listening to the radio with her mother, who had the radio on at night for company while Dymond's father was working as a bartender.

"I listen to talk radio in the evenings in preference to watching television and of course listen to the radio in the car, in the kitchen cooking," said Dymond, 60. "Beth said she had no clue as to how to go about getting on the radio and I said it's not a big deal."

With that, Dymond approached Mark Elliott, the program director of 1590 AM The Connection, which switched to 1520 AM KVTA in November.

"I started calling him in August of 2006. He met with us in late February and our first show aired on March 4, 2007," Dymond said.

Each show opens with chats between Rogers and Dymond about their lives and the week's activities, such as Dymond's adventure in buying Hopalong Cassidy's 1956 black-and-white Thunderbird and her trials of finding just the right cowboy boots. On occasion, the co-hosts are joined by historian Joan Selwyn, who talks about great women who stepped into the world when it was officially closed to women.

"Whether Cleopatra or Florence Nightingale, we come to appreciate the tremendous talent of women and the courage they have always had to express it," said Rogers, 62, of Carpinteria, who has a Ph.D. in social anthropology. "We then move into the news of the day told by the women players, whether it is Nancy Pelosi in Congress, Condeleezza Rice on international affairs or the women sumo wrestling championships in Thailand."

These bits are interspersed with sound bites from female comedians such as Lily Tomlin and Gilda Radner and songs by singers such as Billie Holiday and Shania Twain.

"We are really trying to provide women with a fun place to laugh some, hear good music, listen to interesting guests," Dymond said.

The station took on the show because the format is unique to Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, Herrera said.

"We noticed that there was really no talk show on a local level that concentrated on women and their accomplishments," Herrera said. "We hope to bring more exposure to women in the area that are involved in incredible things. There are so many out there and they don't get the recognition they deserve."

The show also strives to enable and encourage women to find their passion.

"So many times women get bogged down with day-to-day activities of work and family that they forget about doing something for just themselves," Herrera said.

Rogers, who did radio while campaigning for Congress, said the format underscores the fact that a new generation of women is walking on the stage of life in roles that were not historically open to women.

"We are finding that we have our individual passions, which are new, exciting and exhilarating," Rogers said. "We are finding that the ancient need for a group of women friends, the aunties, the best pals, is surfacing as women find groups with a common interest and also find their best friends with whom they can share their lives.

"These new interests and deep friendships are combined with the age-old balance of mates and children and family care. We are awakening to the joy of independence and fully being in charge of ourselves."

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