– Words by Toby Tannas Photographs By Darren Hull
For Kelowna’s Sue Tyler, walking though the doors of Power 104.7 is like coming home. The host of The Sue Tyler Show considers her listeners family. She’s been committed to reaching them through the radio for almost 30 years.
“They make my day better and if I can help them have a better day then I’ve done my job,” she says.
Raised by a single father in Ontario and being a self-proclaimed “night club baby,” Sue always dreamed of a singing/songwriting career. Reality hit and her focus shifted when she became pregnant at 19. It was a surprise she embraced with open arms.
“All I could think was now I have somebody to love me. I also knew that I needed to find a way to be a mom and support my child but also to still be Sue Tyler,” she explains.
Sue chose a radio career and has never looked back. She likens being a radio host to bartending.
“I serve and I listen. That’s the intimacy of an afternoon show. It’s just me and the phones. I do a lot more listening than talking.”
Sue has a knack for getting her mostly male audience to soften, open up and see the positive side of a situation.
This mother of four is as real as it gets and her challenge, if any, is to keep her on-air language in check.
“I try not to break the rules,” she says, chuckling. “I’m mindful there can be kids listening, but I dance on the line a little.”
The 7 Sins
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
Helen Gurley Brown. If you don’t know who she was, look her up. I used to pretend she was my mom when I was a kid. My dad’s girlfriends would leave Cosmopolitan magazines at our house. Her ideology on sex and the single woman is precedent-setting.
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
Well, I make a really mean brownie.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
I would like to go somewhere significant with my four children and husband. I am nothing without them and would love an opportunity to make their travel dreams come true.
I am a very annoying person … I do not feel entitled to have a pet peeve.
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
On that big beautiful Okanagan Lake! That’s all I want to do in the summer.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?
Opening minds. Like many people I have been misunderstood most of my life. I do my best in my work and personal life to try and understand and respect people for their differences. To me it is the foundation of a productive society.
What makes your heart beat faster?
My husband. Nathan Roderick Milne. No one else could put up with me. He doesn’t try to extinguish my fire for his own ego. Not many men can do that.