By Craig Stocks / Photography by Craig Stocks
Do you like to talk? OK, do you like talking to a large audience? How about talking to thousands of people through a 50,000 watt radio transmitter? If you listen to the radio in the Peoria area, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Stacy Campbell doing just that. She’s one half of the “Lite Rock 107 Wake Up Club with Randy and Stacy” weekday mornings on WSWT. According to Arbitron, WSWT is consistently first or second in the ratings for radio stations in the Peoria area.
Stacy’s a native of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, but traveled to Des Moines, Iowa to attend Drake University. Her goal was acting, so she majored in theatre. But her parents told her, “You really think you’re going to be an actress? You’d better have something to fall back on.” Heeding her parents’ advice, she minored in broadcast news.
After graduation, she took a TV news job in Ottumwa, Iowa – the smallest TV market in the nation. She had to work by herself as a field reporter, and even had to record her own video. As she describes it, “You’d set up camera, do the story, then check to see if you were in the frame.” After a few months, she moved to a station in the larger TV market of Des Moines. But, she found that TV just wasn’t her thing. When she migrated to being an on-air personality at a radio station owned by the same company, she quickly found she felt right at home in radio.
Stacy’s theatre background isn’t much help in her role as an on-air personality. “In a play, it’s a character,” she explains. “What you hear on the radio is me. You have to be you and realistic or people won’t buy into it.”
When the Campbell family moved to Peoria for husband Tim’s job, Stacy focused on being a stay-at-home mom for their three children. At the time, they thought the move to Peoria was just a stepping stone, conveniently located half-way between families in Iowa and Indiana. But when they arrived, they quickly fell in love with the Peoria area and found great friends. “Now,” Stacy says, “we’re here for the long haul.”
When the opportunity fell into her lap to get back into radio, Stacy jumped at the chance. And what’s not to love about it? “I have a job where I go in every morning and I drink coffee and I talk,” she says. “Truly, we laugh every morning.”