There is a new radio show that might sound like a typical daytime talk show, but at the same time is unlike any other right now.
Kelly and Company, on AMI-audio, is the first-afternoon talk show to be hosted by a member of the blind community. Kelly MacDonald, a veteran radio and TV broadcaster, has been a part of the Accessible Media Incorporated family for the past 15 years.
“The show came to be on the heels of our morning show, Live From Studio 5, and the need for people who want more than just a reading service,” he says. “They want information more spontaneously.”
Unlike the morning show, Kelly and Company is a lifestyle centered show. MacDonald hosts the program with veteran broadcaster Sharon Caddy (formerly of CTV News Toronto and CTS). They are joined by a weekly group of panelists and correspondents, focusing on topics such as employment, nutrition, sexuality, personal finance audiobooks and sports.
“I try (to be both serious and funny) because it’s too depressing to be only one way.”
“The Company part of our show is really our way of asking people to give us ideas, subjects and ask questions, and give their own opinions. We don’t come across as experts, but as contributors lending experiences and to combine information with entertainment.”
For Kelly MacDonald, you could say that he has now come full circle in his career as a reporter and broadcaster. A graduate of Fanshawe College in London, Ont., MacDonald started out in radio which he says is his first love. He later moved into television including a show he created and hosted for AMI TV called Blind Sighted before returning to radio for Kelly and Company.
I asked him what the secret is behind his success in a field where people with disabilities aren’t always heard or appreciated.
“I try (to be both serious and funny) because it’s too depressing to be only one way,” he replies. “It has been an interesting 15 years for me to do production work, be a volunteer coordinator, do TV work, and now forging on to do what I actually set out to do when I went to college to do radio.”
Kelly and Company debuted on October 31. It airs live weekday afternoons from 3-5 pm ET on AMI-audio.
You can listen to the show live online at http://www.ami.ca/listenlive. AMI-audio can also be heard on digital TV at Bell Fibe 49 and Rogers 196.