|Sheri Melvold in the control room at KMAQ. (Daily Yonder photo by Julianne Couch)|
Though KMAQ already had a long-running talk show, local owner Dennis Voy decided in 1996 that he wanted a show from a female perspective. He and his wife Nancy immediately thought of Sheri Melvold to head up the show. "An Arizona native, she’d worked for newspapers such as the Phoenix Gazette and the Arizona Republic. Her then husband, Doug Melvold, was a journalist, too, and a Maquoketa native," Couch reports. "When he returned to take over the family-run Maquoketa Sentinel Press, she accompanied him and worked for the paper. Even after the couple divorced, she continued working there for several more years. She also contributed to other area newspapers on occasion and became well known in the community. Her local knowledge and journalism chops meant she was an obvious choice to take on a live interview and call-in show, even though she had never worked in radio before."
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Melvold covers plenty of non-political local goings-in, and reads local newspapers to make sure she has her finger on the community's pulse. Though the station's audience is aging, they're loyal. And Melvold believes KMAQ holds a unique place in the community as a rapid-response news source.