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March 20, 2010

Ann Duran on the air in Madison County

DALEVILLE — As a child, radio personality Ann Duran remembers her father calling her his mini-Barbara Walters.

“I used to interview everybody and hold this little microphone up like I was something,” she said.

Then in high school, she was drawn to singing groups from swing choir to madrigals. “My original dream was to be Sandi Patty. Who doesn’t love to listen to Sandi Patty?”

Ann Duran’s voice has guided her career, known for working in such top radio markets at Boston, New York City, Houston and Orlando.

In January, she joined the staff of a local group of stations within Backyard Broadcasting, where she is promotions coordinator for MAX, WERK and WHBU.

She goes on air from 3 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays to play classic hits on WERK-FM (104.9)

“I love it because all of these songs bring back a specific memory,” she said.

Duran is not a disc jockey who blends into the background between songs.

“I like to engage people to talk to me,” she said. “I like to know what’s going on in their lives, what excited them. I want to know that you found an incredible bargain today at the mall because I’m a shopaholic. I’m learning something about the listeners and the community. And that excites me.”

A cat, dog and husband

Local listeners may recall Duran serving as co-host for WTPI’s former morning show in Indianapolis a few years ago.

“Ann’s old fans from Indianapolis found her quickly,” said Amy Dillon, general sales manager at Backyard Broadcasting. “Word got around within hours, and she was receiving calls and e-mails from former listeners.”

Brad Feutz, of Anderson, a home remodeling contractor, is one of Ann’s new fans.

“Sometimes what we’re doing is pretty mundane stuff, but Ann and her music really helps to motivate you and gives you something to think about,” he said. “She isn’t afraid to state her opinion. She’s funny, but she has some attitude, and I like that.”

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