Popular Twin Cities DJ enjoys the best of both worlds

Lisa Miller, of KQRS, enjoys her busy lifestyle in the Twin Cities, but also the comforts of her Isanti lake home

By Rachel Kytonen

You hear her voice on the “Afternoon Drive” on KQRS and she loves the busy lifestyle of the Twin Cities, but Lisa Miller also enjoys the comforts of her Isanti lake home.

Lisa Miller, of Isanti, and an afternoon on-air personality on KQRS, broadcasted live last week from Hawaii to promote the Grand Opening of Disney’s new Aulani Resort & Spa. KQRS was only one of 10 radio stations across the country invited to the Grand Opening.

Miller, who has worked for radio stations in the Twin Cities since 1993, and has been the imaging voice of radio station KQRS since 1998, has lived on Long Lake in Isanti since January 2000.

Miller, who has done extensive renovation to her rustic, but modern home, is single and lives with her three Chihuahuas, Stuart, Nemo and Bella.

“I was born in Nebraska, and have lived in four cities in Nebraska, so it’s not such a stretch for me to live in the cornfields,” Miller jokingly said. “I feel I have the best of both worlds here. I love my job in the Twin Cities, but I also love coming home to Isanti.”

Miller started looking at lake homes all over the Metro area, but eventually found a home she liked in Isanti.

“When I started looking for a home, I had a listener friend tell me I had to live on a lake,” Miller said. “So, I started looking and found this home. I loved the yard, and the price was good. I remodeled the home to make it my own, and I love it.”

Miller is a familiar face around the Isanti County area, and spends a lot of time volunteering at different charity and fundraising events. She’s been involved with the Arctic Plunge, the Captain’s Motorcycle Run that benefits veterans, vintage snowmobile races on Long Lake, Family Pathways Senior Services and more.

“I love how people up here create their own fun,” Miller said. “Ever since I moved up here, the people and my neighbors have been wonderful.”

Miller spent 13 years working evenings at KQRS before moving to the “Afternoon Drive” of 2 to 7 p.m. beginning in July. While working evenings, she also spent six years working as an office professional in the IT department in the St. Francis School District.

Miller enjoys her work as an on-air personality.

“I love that there are no rock stars at KQRS,” Miller said. “Everyone is nice, and they are people you want to hang out with. The bosses are very bright and driven. It’s a battle out there, but the bosses keep coming up with new and creative ideas.”

Aulani is part of the Ko Olina Resort Community & Marina, which features spectacular beaches, a championship golf course, shopping, snorkeling, sports fishing and more. Located on the western shore of O’ahu about 17 miles from the Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii, Aulani rests on 21 acres of beachfront property.

Sometimes her job doesn’t even feel like work.

“I love the music,” Miller said. “I can’t believe that sometimes this is my job. It’s relaxing. If I have a stressful day, I can’t wait to go to work. I believe in radio, and I like the different events KQRS gets involved with, like the Arctic Plunge.”

Miller realizes she is fortunate to receive different “perks” that come with her job such as free concert tickets, VIP tents, and so on.

This past week, she spent a few days in Hawaii broadcasting live from Disney’s new Aulani Resort & Spa. She explained KQRS was one of 10 radio stations nation-wide invited to broadcast from Aulani. Miller is also familiar with Disney as she used to work in Disney marketing.

Starting her career

Miller eventually moved to Los Angeles, and attended high school in Palm Springs.

Miller first got her start in radio in Los Angeles, working for KLOS. While working there, Miller realized she wanted to be an on-air personality.

“I got to work with people who are considered legends in the business,” Miller said. “Everyone was so nice and I learned a lot. I also did a lot of my own research about going into radio. I would look at magazines and photocopy articles, photocopy newspaper articles. I would read and research all I could about broadcasting.”

Miller was 30 years old when she got her first full-time job on-air, and worked at a couple different radio stations in Florida.

In 1993, Miller got a call from Dave Hamilton, from 93.7 The Edge, in Minneapolis. She was hired as an on-air personality, and moved to Minneapolis. The Edge was owned by the same company as KLOS, in Los Angeles.

“I’ve worked for the same company since 1993, and that really gives me a sense of accomplishment,” Miller said.

Miller left The Edge for a few years to work in Chicago, but came back to Minneapolis to work for KQRS in 1998.

While working at The Edge, Miller did all the interviews with the musicians, such as Gwen Steffani, Gavin Rossdale, the Goo Goo Dolls, Metallica and more.

Miller is excited about working afternoons at KQRS, and enjoys the challenges her job brings.

“I love music trivia, and if it’s interesting to me, I hope it’ll be interesting to someone listening,” Miller said. “With this new position it’s always a challenge to be brief and interesting. With radio, I always try to approach my broadcast as if I’m talking one-on-one with someone. I really do love my job, and I all the things I get to do. It’s all about playing records and talking with friends.”

Fun Facts About Lisa Miller

What is your favorite food: Curry chicken
Who would you most like to have dinner with (alive or deceased)? Albert Einstein
Favorite Drink: Diet Red Bull
Favorite classic rock song? “End of the Line,” Traveling Willbury’s,” “Hold on Tight,” ELO and “Long Way to the Top,” AC/DC
Most Memorable radio interview: First live interview with Roger McGuinn of the Byrds
Best Concert: Peter Gabriel, Eric Clapton, The Who, Deep Purple
Favorite Restaurant: Yarusso Brothers Italian, India Palace and Emily’s