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HomeA&ETV-Radio
Published: Sunday, 6/19/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Stay Tuned: With Kirk Baird

WPFX-FM radio host Cliff Smithers

KIRK BAIRD
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Cliff Smithers is the morning show host of WPFX-FM. Cliff Smithers is the morning show host of WPFX-FM.
THE BLADE/LISA DUTTON Enlarge | Buy This Photo

You have heard their voices on radio and seen their faces on TV. Now The Blade goes behind the scenes to introduce you to your favorite media personalities. Stay Tuned appears the third Monday of every month.

First job: I grew up in a home along the 15th hole of Tamaron golf course. Every day we would get 10 to 12 golf balls in our backyard. I would collect them, wash them up, bag them by the dozen, and sell them at a great price to the golfers who came by. If they bought, they got a free cup of lemonade, if they didn’t, it was 10 cents a cup. My mom made killer lemonade. My first “real” job was as a dishwasher at the former Ricardo’s restaurant, which was located on the bottom floor of the O-I building in downtown Toledo.

First salary: $3.25 an hour, plus all the fried shrimp I could eat in between washing those dishes. Owner Dick Skaff, who was a great guy, would always bring me a big plate full and say, “Here’s your bonus.” I would say, “Cool, thanks DS!”

My idol is: No doubt about it, my father, Phil Smithers. He passed away when I was only 12. I will always remember him as a man with a big heart and a strong love for God. He owned his own construction company and had many men who worked for him. I still get calls today at the radio station from former employees of his, and they always say, “Your dad was one of the greatest men I knew.” I can’t begin to tell you how many times that has happened. When it does, I feel very proud. I can’t fail to mention, though, coming in a close second is my former youth pastor, John Tucker, and family friend Ray Crots. These men helped pick up the pieces for me after my dad passed away.

Name: Cliff Smithers

Position: Morning-show host.

Station: WPFX-FM (107.7), the Wolf.

Age: 48.

Hometown: Toledo.

School/College: Emmanuel Christian High School in Toledo, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Family: Three children: Stephanie, Courtney,
and Kyle, and three grandchildren: Connor, Gabriel, and Kileigh.

Most embarrassing radio moment: During an on-air interview with one of my favorite country artists, Travis Tritt, I told him that I liked his hair. My co-worker Craig Snyder has never let me forget about that one.

Highlight of my career: Meeting two of my radio heroes. One was Brother Bill Gable, who worked for CKLW in Windsor/Detroit. I used to run home from school in the afternoon just to listen to him. The other, Ron Sobczak, who was (and still is) one of my favorite radio DJs when I was growing up, listening to him on WOHO here in Toledo (presently works at WRQN-FM (93.5). Not only did I meet Ron, but I have worked with him over the years, and he became, and is, one of my best friends. That’s too cool.

My favorite thing to do outside of work: Spending time with my grandchildren and my girlfriend, Trish. Also, getting away to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.

I think Toledo’s best kept secret is: My son Kyle’s band, Last Born Sons. He owes me now for giving them a plug.

People may be surprised to know that I: Used to be the youth pastor at the church that I grew up in, Toledo Baptist Temple, under the leadership of one of the great preachers and teachers, Billy V. Bartlett.

In five years, I see myself: 53 and gray headed.

My dream job is: To tell others about the love of God and what he can do for them. No amount of money can compare to the satisfaction that it will bring to a person’s life.

Contact Kirk Baird at:
kbaird@theblade.com
or 419-724-6734.



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