To say Kim Komando is an over-achiever is a vast understatement.
Currently America’s most popular computer/digital lifestyle expert, her weekly talk radio show is heard (via her own network) on over 450 stations. In addition, she does a daily “tip of the day” radio feature heard five days a week; has written seven successful books about life in the digital age; and still authors a widely syndicated newspaper column. Some 4.6 million people receive her tips by e-mail weekly. She does all of this, while raising a son and operating a growing media empire, with husband and associate, Barry Young.
“I have a tendency to be relentless in my pursuits,” says Komando. “It’s a lot of hard work but when you dig what you do, it makes it a lot more fun.”
One of the earliest pioneers in the field of marketing and training for home computers, Komando has evolved into a national digital advice guru. “It’s not about tekkies and computer troubleshooting anymore,” she says of her present role as one of America’s most listened-to air personalities. “It’s now about a lifestyle – the lifestyle of a digital age.”
By the time she graduated from Arizona State University, she had already set up a successful computer training business. After short stints at IBM and AT&T in sales, Komando joined Unisys. While working on there, Kim started writing a local column about computers. The newspaper column led to a call-in talk show about computers, which aired late at night on weekends on her local Phoenix’s KFYI-AM station.
It was small beginnings but the bug had bitten her, and on January 1, 1992, only years after graduating early from college, she made a permanent career change: this time as a full time computer specialist dishing out useful advice to consumers via print and radio outlets.
In the mid-1990s, convinced a national audience existed for her show, she and Young forged onward. Station by station, all done independently with WestStar Talk Radio Network, which they formed to market the show into syndication. Komando’s audience grew to now over 9.7 million weekly listeners.
The couple built its first radio studio on a shoestring budget in 1995. Today they operate from a 6000 sq ft state-of-the-art audio/video facility in midtown Phoenix with six complete studios and 30 employees. The show airs every weekend for three hours, receiving 50,000 calls per hour.
Among Komando’s many relentless pursuits has been a healthy balance work and motherhood. Barry and Kim married in August 1999. In December 2000, Komando gave birth to their son, Ian, who up until this year, attended pre-school classes at the West Star complex with a hired, certified teacher.
“Being a mother is the greatest thing I have ever done,” says Komando, reflecting on her years of success. “It is better than anything in business.”
“I know this stuff; I just do,” says Komando, who was named America’s ‘Digital Goddess’ in a recent Trivial Pursuit card question. “I have worked in computers all my life. I got my degree in computers and when I was in school they teach how to think like a computer. They would say if you do A to B, then either C or D will happen, and you can figure it out from there. You learn to think in a linear way. So, I it just all makes sense to me.”
And by the looks of her success, it makes perfect sense to the rest of America, as well.