Putting a face to the voice: Get to know the people of Port Huron radio

From podcasts to country music shows and dynamic duos, the radio industry is thriving in Port Huron. But who are these people who bring us news about our favorite sports teams or information about local events? Meet five radio show hosts from local stations and learn about the person behind the voice.

Paul Miller
Host of the “WPHM Morning Show” at 1380 WPHM-AM 
Hometown: Fort Gratiot, Michigan

"There's something to be said for the medium of radio - I think it's unlike anything else," says Paul Miller. "I think people find comfort in knowing the voices they're accustomed to hearing are there and with them during the good times like summer festivals and celebrations, as well as bad times - like global pandemics!"

Paul Miller began his career in radio at his current station in the late 1980s while attending school at St. Clair County Community College (SC4). After working as a news director and then working in radio news, he left to start a new career in public relations with no plans to return to radio until 2002 when WPHM’s John Hill decided to retire from the station.  

“John was my mentor - he taught radio and television at SC4 and hired me to work at WPHM where he hosted the morning show,” says Miller. “John was the morning show host I grew up listening to. By the time he retired, he had been at WPHM for 28 years! The second he said he was retiring, I knew I wanted his job.”
 
Miller now hosts the “WPHM Morning Show” at 1380 WPHM-AM which can be heard on-air Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 a.m., or listen live at wphm.net or download the WPHM Radio mobile app. 

“I've worked most of my career in morning radio,” says Miller. “It's the best time of the day in this business - it's when you want to be on the air. It also means getting up not long after a lot of people have gone to bed, and getting off work around the time everyone else is going to lunch. You're always tired and you drink about a gallon of coffee before 8 a.m., but there's no other energy like putting on a live radio broadcast that has to go on — rain or shine, in sickness and in health — at 6 a.m.”

In his spare time, Miller likes to read, watch TV, cook, and spend time with his family — 19-year-old daughter Nora and Anne, his wife of 23 years. He sometimes can also be found on stage. 

“Just in the last couple years I've gotten involved as a performer with Enter Stage Right at the Citadel Stage in Port Huron,” says Miller. “This year was a hard one for performers but it looks like the theater is ready for a comeback and I'll be excited to get back on stage!”

Jessie Wiegand
News and Media Director at WGRT Radio 102.3 FM and Host of “LIMElight with Jessie”
Hometown: Port Huron, Michigan

"It's one thing to have 20,000 followers on Instagram, but if you walk down the street in your own community and nobody knows who you are I would think twice about what you are bringing into your own community," says Jessie Wiegand. "...I shop here, we walk down the street together, I know where you live, where you work, we're in the same group together... Like those types of connections are really what grounds you to a place and, to me, that's a lot more."

“I have a little mantra that really who I am is I'm curious, interested, and brave,” says Jessie Wiegand, Host of “LIMElight with Jessie” and News and Media Director at WGRT Radio 102.3 FM (also known as Port Huron Family Radio). “I'm just a curious person who's interested in a lot of things and I'm brave enough to ask questions and be in situations where I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know all the answers, but I'm willing to learn.”

Wiegand takes that mantra with her along in life, exploring new places, meeting new people, and learning along the way. 

Describing herself as an “unconventionally-trained radio personality,” Wiegand originally set out to pursue a career in the medical field before taking a break to be a stay-at-home mother and homeschool her children. She kept her skills fresh by volunteering for various organizations, such as her local church, the library, literacy groups, and the Red Cross. 

"It's kind of funny because I didn't plan to get here," says Jessie Wiegand. "To me, it's not about what I've done and accomplished that has given me this position, it's just my characteristics of being curious, interested, brave, hardworking, honest, not afraid to be uncomfortable, willing to learn, and all of those things are what brought me here."She earned certificates in computer systems for business, digital marketing, and professional sales and graduated from SC4 in 2019 with a degree in Computer Information Systems before eventually coming to work at WGRT. Wiegand says that the job was supposed to be an admin position with data management and behind-the-scenes work but station owner Marty Doorn recognized her potential for on-air work.

“I was like, ‘I can’t be on the radio,’” says Wiegand. “I panicked in speech class and I actually made a radio show in high school but was terrified to perform it, so I skipped school that day and just handed it in on a cassette tape because I was mortified at the thought of acting in front of my peers.”

Wiegand says that LIMElight was created to connect people with thoughts and ideas from people that they wouldn't be able to sit down with. Discussions on the show cover a wide range of topics such as race, diversity, women’s issues, and immigration and you can listen at wgrt.com/limelight-podcast or on various streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts

“The person who did the job before me used to do really short interviews with publicists who were promoting people that wrote books because she was an avid reader as well and she would just use them as news stories,” says Wiegand. “I thought, well, if I'm doing this interview and I'm recording it, why don't we try to make a show out of it and kind of burst out of talking to the same people in this community — let's get some new voices.”
 
In her spare time, Wiegand says that she likes to take quiet time to herself to read and write in her journal. She also enjoys spending time with her husband Chris, and their five adult children. 
 
“We’re playing a lot more than we ever did because our kids are all grown up and can fend for themselves for the most part,” says Wiegand. “We have lots of wonderful friends that you'll find us hanging out with, but we are Port Huron people. So we are downtown a lot, at local restaurants, on the lake and river. We walk around and go to the parks…I mean, really we're just pretty low key.” 

Ellyn Davey
Music Director at 90.7 Hope FM and Co-host of “Mornings with Brian & Ellyn”
Hometown: North Street, Michigan

"I grew up in St. Clair County on a farm, so to me North Street is close enough to the city," says Ellyn Davey. "For me it was a no brainer to stay. I love this area and this was honestly very comfortable for me. I don't like big cities, so a small town draws me and keeps me."

“I always had a mouth when I was young, so my mom would tell me I was going to use that mouth some day for good,” says Ellyn Davey, who now works as the Co-host of “Mornings with Brian & Ellyn” and Music Director at 90.7 Hope FM

Davey attended school in Greenville, South Carolina and dabbled in radio, television, and broadcast journalism during her studies. By the time she finished college in the late 1980s, Davey says that 90.7 Hope FM was still a young station and had only been around for a year and a half at that time. She’s been with the radio station ever since. 

Hosts of "Mornings with Brian & Ellyn" Brian Smith and Ellyn Davey work in the studio on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. "We like to add as much fun as possible," says Smith. "We also want to be a great neighbor to the people that are around us, but we also share a lot of hope. And so I think those are three things that are really important to us."The morning show at the Christian radio station was introduced in 2014 when Davey and her co-host Brian Smith joined the forces of their individual shows to create “Mornings with Brian & Ellyn.” She says the show is fun with a whole lot of hope and inspiration.

“Chemistry-wise, we work off of each other pretty well,” says Davey. “I'm a morning person anyways and I'm glad I don’t have to carry all the load myself anymore. There may be some day where that will shift back out, but at this point in my life I really enjoy it. I like to be a part of the community when it's like coming alive, it's like, ‘Wake up!’ and I think it kind of fits my personality too.”

Davey says that she grew up Baptist but currently attends a Wesleyan church. 

“My faith waters into both,” says Davey. “They just kind of work together, but I couldn't survive without my faith in God. It goes way beyond what I do here. It waters into my life, period, whether I’m a mom or at the grocery store behind somebody, and hopefully impacts what I do and what I say all the time.” 
 
Davey and her husband of nearly 31 years, Ben, have three adult children and are looking forward to the birth of their first grandchild. 

Brian Smith
Station Director of Power 88.3 and 90.7 Hope FM and Co-host of “Mornings with Brian & Ellyn”
Hometown: Kimball, Michigan

“Early on in my career I was presented with an opportunity to take a full-time role as Ellyn was leaving for maternity leave," says Brian Smith. "From there I have worn several different hats which include program director, afternoon and evening host, and now station director and host of the morning show. I love this community and have been blessed to be able to stay a part of it for so many years.”

Born in Port Huron, Brian Smith, Co-host of “Mornings with Brian & Ellyn” and Station Director of Power 88.3 and 90.7 Hope FM, has worked for the local Christian radio station for over 20 years.

“I don't think anyone had any clue how it would grow to be two stations,” says Smith. “We cover the entire thumb of Michigan with Hope FM and Power 88.3 is our other station that covers all of St Clair County. And then, obviously, worldwide if you go to the website…we have listeners that are from overseas and so it's really quite amazing how it's grown.” 
 
Smith says that he provides content for the morning show as well as managing the day-to-day operations of the radio stations. He says that faith is what drives everything and even though it’s very busy, he loves it and there are very few days he comes in not looking forward to work. 
 
“I feel blessed to be able to work in a place where I can be a part of sharing with other people, and it really doesn't have anything to do with the denomination at all, it's more just about who God is and who he can be for other people,” says Smith. 
 
Hosts of the "Mornings with Brian & Ellyn" show, Brian Smith and Ellyn Davey, stand outside the radio station located on Military Street in Port Huron, Michigan.You can listen to “Mornings with Brian & Ellyn” on-air from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday with a best of episode on Saturday morning from 7 to 10 a.m. The show is also available through streaming services as well as the mobile apps for both of the radio stations. 

“We talk a lot about local events and support those things, but I mean ultimately, we try to put a positive spin on what's going on and offer hope through our God and through our faith,” says Smith. “So kind of drawing those lines between what we talked about and then also music, and sharing stories of hope where people have had victories.” 

Smith and his wife, Heather, have two young children and a dog named Bingo. In his spare time, he loves to do pretty much anything outdoors such as hunting, fishing, boating, and snowmobiling, but he also likes to sing. 
 
“We [and co-host Ellyn] both sing and worship at our local church…really anything that intersects with outdoors and music, that’s kind of me,” says Smith. 
 
Matt Markham
Program Director of WSAQ-FM and WHLX-AM and Host of “Matt Markham in the Morning”
Hometown: Port Huron, Michigan

"I find joy in waking up with the Blue Water Area and being able be a source of both information about local news stories and local events happening around town," says Matt Markham. "During the pandemic, I really saw the "community" aspect come out as so much was going on and changing every day, and we were frequently reached out to with questions about everything and anything."

Although he originally aspired to be a meteorologist, now radio station program director and morning show host Matt Markham says that he realized that it wasn’t his calling. 

He decided to look into radio and after attending school at Specs Howard and working for various other stations such as 94.7 WCSX in Detroit, Markham has been with Radio First since 2014. He currently works as the Program Director of WSAQ-FM and WHLX-AM and host of “Matt Markham in the Morning” on 107 Q Country. 

“Port Huron, and the Blue Water Area as a whole, has a much different feel than a larger market has,” says Markham. “I love that when I go to a local restaurant or a grocery store, I can see a listener going about their day and we'll chat and catch up. That small town, community feel is strong and in bigger markets that isn't the case. Community is everything with radio, and I'm humbled to be a part of this community.”

"Many do not realize that, but in this industry, it's much more than simply talking on-air," says Matt Markham. "Those days are long gone as so much more is going on in the building, and the more you know, the better it is...From talking on-air, to scheduling music, to doing live broadcasts on location, to imaging, to production, to putting on concerts, and so much more, a lot gets done here!"And though his personal music preference ranges all over from Fleetwood Mac and Keith Urban to Alice in Chains and Eminem, listeners of the show can enjoy country music and have the chance to win some free food or concert tickets. Tune in Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m., listen through your favorite streaming device, or download the Q Country 107.1-WSAQ mobile app.

“I have never done a show in this sense before, as mornings are a different animal,” says Markham. “I find joy in waking up with the Blue Water Area and being able to be a source of both information about local news stories and local events happening around town.”

Markham has a black cat, Keith Algo, named after Markham’s favorite singer Keith Urban and Algo after the freighter company. The self-proclaimed boat nerd says that in his spare time he enjoys being outside. 

“We are so lucky to live where we do,” says Markham. “I am a scuba diver and love to go diving in the St. Clair River and look at all the cool artifacts and fish below the surface — truly one of the coolest things that I do! If I'm not diving, I'm either working on a house project or I'm with Miranda [his girlfriend] and relaxing. I'm lucky enough to have her, great friends and family, and great neighbors to kick back and enjoy some Busch Lattes with!”
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