One of the boys
Maureen Holloway loves to laugh. It's infectious. Try sitting across from the sweet voice of The Last Word, Q107's morning gabfest, and not wear a perpetual smile. It's almost impossible, even when she discusses her recent bout with cancer.
[ 2007-07-04 ]
Maureen Halloway is the voice on The Last Word, Q107's gabfest.
"I was diagnosed just before May long weekend 2005," she says. "My original diagnosis was very dire; it was a very rare, very aggressive form of cancer. Doctors felt I was either going to make it through the next few months or I wasn't. They threw the book at me -- radical surgery, chemotherapy, radiation ... everything.
"Only now after two years, with no sign of reoccurrence, have doctors started to say I can make long term plans [pause] ... I could get hit by a truck tomorrow mind you," she chuckles, then laughs.
Holloway, who is still undergoing reconstructive surgery, beamed when saying if everyone going through a life-threatening disease had as much support as she did, they would be extremely lucky.
Prior to joining the Q107 morning show, Toronto radio listeners might remember her 15-year stint on Mix 99.9 FM, or from her television work as host of The Dish on Comedy Network, host of Flick, Life Network's movie review show, or from her regular features on CTV's Canada AM and eNOW.
"I never really meant to get into radio. Isn't that funny? I have a degree in film studies; I worked for experimental film companies, wore black and smoked a lot," she says with a playful smile. "I wasn't making a lot of money so I thought I'd get into advertising, then someone at an ad agency said I should consider the Radio and Television Arts (RTA) program at Ryerson.
"So I went back to school, got accepted, and a year into the program got a summer job with CKFM on their boat, which is where I met my husband, he was the driver of the boat [her smile growing ever wider, eyebrows rising]."
When the summer gig ended, CKFM offered her a full-time position doing traffic. She admits traffic didn't really interest her, but it sounded like fun.
She dropped out of the RTA program and as she puts it, "one thing led to the other."
Now she's heard coast to coast in nine markets, and is on four times a day during Derringer in the Morning where she's "the only chick," except for the Women We Love inductees, of course.
"Let's not kid ourselves, the morning show on Q107 is a guy's show; I'm the girl in the locker room," she says with a wink.
"I learned a long time ago that when you're in that arena it's not the place to stand up and say, 'how dare you refer to women as broads or refer to their breasts as racks!'"
With Holloway on the morning show it's obvious that Q107 understands their audience includes both men and women. Holloway points to the station's latest campaign, which features both Derringer and herself. Q is pushing the female demographic more than ever before, Holloway says.
"They realized they should embrace this demographic too, and I'm part of that."
Holloway is more than just a pretty voice (and face), admitting she loves writing, research and scholarly pursuits. She is one thesis away from completing her Master's degree in Communications and Culture, and was recently awarded the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Gold Ribbon Award for Humour.
Her thesis focuses on women and humour, specifically in film. How women are usually the butt of jokes, not the perpetrators, and how they can turn that around.
"Traditionally women have used anger, Thelma & Louise-style, or hysteria to deal with things. Very few women have dealt with difficult situations with humour so that's my thing now.
"I'm sure there are probably people out there that think what I say and how I behave isn't very ladylike. That being funny isn't very ladylike.
"The posters around town with John and I laughing our heads off, some people asked why I allowed myself to be photographed that way -- mouth open. I could have done the glamour shots no problem, but I love that picture of me laughing my ass off, because I was really laughing my ass off."