April Hill's first "job" in radio was in college at WMSV. Early every morning she would rise and shine after waiting tables late into the night. Hill didn't actually get paid. She was just thrilled to have an opportunity to get real live on-air experience. The importance of her first morning radio anchor gig wouldn't be realized until more than a decade later.
Hill's first paid job in broadcasting was at the CBS TV affiliate in Jackson, MS, in 1998. Her shift as the associate producer on the morning show at WJTV started at 10:00 p.m. Hill said, "I remember telling my boss how excited I was after getting my first paycheck and he laughed. The check was very small, but I was still a kid really. I'd never had a check that big." She worked a retail job to afford rent in a high crime area of town. "I didn't care. For the first time, I had my own place all to myself. I also got a good laugh when people asked where I lived. Their facial expressions, filled with horror, were so entertaining."
Hill decided to get in on the action in front of the camera. The market size in Jackson was too big for them to giver her a shot (although she tried). After sending out at least 100 resumés with no response. Hill quit her job to concentrate on chasing her dream full-time. Hill's brother lived in Tulsa and was willing to let her live there rent free for a few months. "I drove to every small television station from Florida to Iowa, 25 cities altogether. I got only one offer and that's all I needed."
In 2001, Hill started as a reporter at KLKN-TV in Lincoln, NE. She said, "I really loved Lincoln. It's filled with honest, hard working people." Hill was what they call in the business a one-man-band. She was the reporter, photographer and the editor. Living in a capitol city, and the home of the Husker's, taught her how to cover every story under the sun. "I worked weekends at first, so I was on the 50-yard line every home game covering the fans. I then moved up to the legislature beat Monday through Friday. In between, there were tornados, snow storms and drought... a lot like here in Oklahoma."
In 2007, Hill decided she wanted to move home. Since she grew up in the small town of Independence, KS, Tulsa was the perfect distance and size. "I had been away from home for so long and it was strange when I would talk to people who knew about my home town. Some had even been there." She took a producer job at KJRH, which had a weather camera on main street in Independence. Hill said, "The meteorologists would use it as much as possible during my newscast because they knew I'd love it."
Hill was back home and content, until KRMG's Steve Berg approached her about a weekend anchor job that was open at the radio station. "I thought, oh radio? I haven't done that in a while. Sounds like fun." Dan Potter was the news director and hired her a couple of months later. Hill worked seven days a week for three years. She said, "I looked forward to my weekends at KRMG, but I wanted full-time. I wanted it so badly that I would fill-in working both jobs on holidays and only took one weekend off for a family wedding." Her hard work paid off.
The morning show host at the time, KRMG's Joe Kelley, hired Hill full-time as soon as a position was available. She said, "I loved it from day one. Joe and I just clicked. He worked hard and recognized my work ethic and passion for the radio station. So, Joe became my mentor and all of the sudden promotions started happening faster than I could even ask." A few months after going full-time, Hill was asked to take the morning anchor position. It was only another few months and she was tapped to be the news director, taking over Kelley's position when he moved to sister station WDBO in Orlando. "My emotions were all over the board. I was losing my best boss and gaining the highest position of my career."
Kelley left Hill in good hands. Dan Potter took over as morning host (remember, he was the one who hired her). "Dan and I are going to continue the momentum that KRMG has been building for years. We're here to stay and even get better. I believe that 100 percent."
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