You don't have to ask KSL radio's Grant Nielsen and Amanda Dickson the time of day. They'll regularly give it to you anyway - for free, plus loads of other essential facts.
These 5:30-10 a.m. weekday morning hosts will provide you with the latest news, traffic and weather, plus some entertainment news, business reports and a shot of humor here and there.They host what is likely Utah's most-listened-to morning radio show, but it comes at a price for them - intensity. Unlike ordinary DJs who play music, "Grant and Amanda" have to stay focused, with only a few breaks during their 41/2-hour shift.
"There's a sense of urgency, but no panic," Nielsen said.
First there's Nielsen, a cool, calm host who runs the control board. He also has a great set of pipes with his commanding voice.
Then there's Dickson, a dynamo of personality and energy. At times, it looks like she's about to explode out of her chair. That wide smile, those energetic hand gestures - she's almost always in mo-tion.
This team-up - as perfect a match as comes in radio - started on May 14, 1993. Minus the 18 or so months when Dickson left the station to pursue a law career, they've been together ever since.
Although Dickson's husband, Scott Seeger, is the KSL news director, she said she sees Nielsen more each day.
"We jell together," Dickson said. "This kind of chemistry doesn't just happen.'
"We have a great rapport," Nielsen said. We anticipate . . . We finish each other's sentences."
On a particular late April morning just after 8, Dickson is rushing to finish eating an orange, while Nielsen is munching on barbecue potato chips. They both say they've really cut back on their snacks lately, to avoid gaining weight.
Their studio is amazingly clean, neat and roomy - more so than prob-ab-ly any other Utah station.
Dickson said it's not hard to get up at at 3:45 a.m. when you know you're going to have another fun day at work. Nielsen agrees, even though he's up at 3:15 a.m.
Nielsen said he enjoys the spontaneity and surprises the best. Dickson particularly loves the VIPs she gets to meet.
"We get to meet people we have no business meeting," she said, explaining she tries to bury the fan inside her and be professional.
They both loved meeting Jay Leno recently.
"Grant and Amanda" aren't alone; they have a support team.
Notably, there's their main editor, Marc Giauque; Utah Sportscaster of the Year Kent Rupe and "traffic queen" Patty Rafael.
Rupe is always in motion, typing sports reports and rushing across the newsroom for the latest sports. He's a real go-getter.
Rafael must watch a half-dozen live traffic cameras and try to tell frustrated commuters the best route to take.
There are also several reporters, like Kevin Stanfield. KSL-TV personalities add to the show.
This is all about bringing listeners the latest and most comprehensive information available. As KSL radio turns age 76 on Wednesday, May 6, it should be proud. It's never done a better job.
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