Ramona Holloway, radio star and advocate
Updated: Mar 27, 2019
Ramona Holloway is the "other half" of the Matt & Ramona Show: a three-time winner of the Alliance for Women in Media's Gracie Award for radio comedy. As a big believer in giving back to the community, she volunteers her time for numerous charitable organizations and has been recognized by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Lupus Foundation, and National Kidney Foundation. She currently sits on the board of directors of A Child's Place, an agency that provides educational assistance to homeless children.
*Photo credits: 107.9 The Link
How did you get into radio?
I was working at an employment agency in Columbus, Ohio, when a man walked in hoping I’d help him find a job. He told me he’d been fired as part of a power grab by the sales manager at two small radio stations in Newark, Ohio. He said he’d been such a great general manager that most of the staff walked off the job when he was ousted. The minute he left the employment office, I called the radio stations and offered my services as a sales person. I was hired within two weeks. During my year with those stations, I sold advertising and eventually started doing the news.
How has radio allowed you to be an influencer or role model?
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work for stations in Columbus, OH, Indianapolis, IN, Virginia Beach, VA, and Charlotte that have allowed me to express my concerns about the community through public affairs programming and/or using the station to support local charities and schools.
How has your mom influenced your life?
My mom, Wheezy, is living example of being a servant. All my life she has volunteered her time and talents to help others both as a teacher, church member and active citizen. I remember doing my homework during city council meetings in Somerset, NJ, when she was fighting for better low income housing conditions. I read books and did puzzles while we waited outside the drug addiction treatment center where she took our neighbor to visit her son every Sunday after church. She taught me that the people I help will probably never be able to return the favor, but I should do my best to help anyway.
Are you an only child?
I’m an only child who has shared my teacher mom with hundreds of beloved students over the years. I was the favorite until we got a poodle named Henri. She likes him more and doesn’t hesitate to admit it.
Favorite radio guest?
Of all time: Kristy Adams-Ebel, the founder of Carolina Breast Friends. I was late for our interview because I’d had a “horrible day.” I-485 traffic was a nightmare, the dry cleaner that was supposed to be open had a “back in 15 minutes” sign when I went to pick up the dress I needed to wear for an event the following day. I walked into the studio ranting about the day’s annoyances. Once the interview began, Kristy started talking about how CBF came to be and how having cancer was such a wonderful blessing. Through her cancer battle, she’d met so many wonderful people she might not have ever encountered and found out just how much she was loved. She began to treasure every moment of life thanks to cancer. I was blown away and by the end of our conversation, she wound up consoling me as I thanked her for the life lesson with tears streaming down my face. The gratitude and grace she showed me still motivate me and help me keep life in perspective.
Celeb: Clay Aiken. We have a weird, fun history that dates back to the time I turned him down when I was judging an American Idol preliminary competition at the Charlotte Fox affiliate. When he didn’t get a golden ticket in Charlotte, he drove to Atlanta and then wound up coming in 2nd place on the show. I’ve interviewed him several times since - and he never fails to bring that up. I like to tease him about being a shoe whore and the undying devotion of his Claymates.
What do you do in your free time?
Bargain hunting, crafting and decorating are my favs. Great deals from yard sales to boutiques seriously turn me on. Decorating my door and mailbox for various holidays is a sport.
What has surprised you in your life?
I’m surprised that my mom lives with me and I haven’t gone crazy…. yet.
When you were a little girl, what did the future look like?
I hoped to grow up to be a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader or grocery store cart wrangler. I was hooked on adult conversation; I loved to hear them talk and tell stories. And I loved getting lost in books. I took dance and voice lessons, but figured out very early that I’d never be a professional cheerleader. While in high school, I set my sights on being a TV news anchor. After working as a radio news director for several years, I realized that I wasn’t cut out for a career that revolved around depressing and scaring people with details on the latest murders, accidents, fires, rapes, and scandals.
What makes you laugh?
My radio partner Matt Harris’ goofball outlook on life!
Favorite place in the Carolinas to visit?
I love Asheville…the shopping, the dining, the Biltmore - it's all good!
Have you ever thought about television?
I’ve done television on and off since the mid-90s. I’ve been an overnight news anchor and political talk show host in Columbus. Here in Charlotte, I did two two-year stints on News Edge and was a co-host of Charlotte Today for two years. I’d do TV again if the right opportunity came along.