On the air with Kayleigh Kriss

Popular radio personality gives us the dish on her job — and settles rumors about marrying Josh Groban.

Popular radio personality gives us the dish on her job — and settles rumors about marrying Josh Groban.

Mix 94.1 midday personality Kayleigh Kriss has an amusing perspective on her workday. “I sit in a room for five hours talking to myself,” she says. “Some get committed for it, I get paid.”

A voice on the WHBC-FM airwaves since 1997, Kriss is well-recognized for her frequent personal appearances. She did 26 of them last year.

She has emceed Light Up Canton, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival Queen Pageant, the West End Block Party, the Heart Ball and various fashion shows and dinners.

“Fortunately, I’m kind of a ham,” she says. Also in her favor, Kriss has a sunny, easygoing rapport with the public: “I get my energy from the people.”

She also has a refreshing candor.

kayleigh2“I’ve had full-out, blow-out in the studio while the music is playing,” she says, comically acting out a heated workplace scenario.

A native of Perry, Ohio, in Lake County, Kriss is music director and assistant program director at Mix 94.1. A feature on her show is the noon-hour Retro Bistro, featuring hits of the ’80s.

Q.The music has changed quite a bit at the station since you started in 1997, hasn’t it?
When I first got here we used to play the Carpenters. Now we play Nickelback, David Cook, Matchbox Twenty. I love it.

Q. Do you follow the music scene?
I think you have to. I’m so into popular culture in general. I watch way too much TV, but I always tell people, “It’s for my job.”

Q. What are your favorite shows?
I’m totally into “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race.” If I could be on any reality show, it would be that. What else? “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost.” Oh my gosh, I love “Lost”! I watch “Idol,” “Dancing With the Stars.” I’m taking ballroom dance classes!

Q. Seriously?
I started last August, and I’m going to compete in Columbus. It’s been a blast. Talk about being completely out of your comfort zone! You find out how uncoordinated you really are.

Q. Were you a big radio fan growing up?
Not really. I totally fell into this. I was an art major (at Bowling Green State University) for two years, then I realized you have to have talent to be an artist. So I switched my major to radio-TV-film. When I started (at WHBC) in ’92, I was doing promotions and public affairs. When they put me on the air in ’97, I didn’t want to do it. Then I grew to love it.

Q. Tell me a funny radio anecdote.
I got to interview Josh Groban in 2002 and aired it, then the afternoon guy started telling listeners that I was dating Josh Groban. And people believed it! Then I went on vacation, and he told people I had married Josh Groban. And people believed it! This went on for years. I’d be insisting to people,“No, I didn’t marry Josh Groban! Why would I still be working in Canton?”

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass