Meredith Land, NBCDFW.com
Kidd Kraddick says Kellie Rasberry is his top-rated morning show's "secret weapon."
Dallas' No. 1 radio show credits Kellie Rasberry's level-headed, Southern voice as one of its top strengths -- especially in drawing female listeners.
Homegrown "Kidd Kraddick in the Morning" is syndicated in more than 80 cities across the United States, and 2 million women tune in each week.
"Definitely Kellie is the secret weapon because she never filters herself -- ever," Kidd Kraddick said.
She is just as honest when it comes to her own life. Rasberry has aired her personal troubles to the show's loyal listeners.
Rasberry said she got thousands of emails when she announced she was divorcing and would be a single mother.
"I couldn't believe how many women were put in the same position where the husband, boyfriend, the baby daddy, left while they were still pregnant," she said. "This is apparently a very common thing."
As she shared her heartbreak, listeners demanded more.
"But I can't go into all of that, because there's a bigger price to pay than satisfying everyone's curiosity," she said. "And Lord, I'd love to tell it, wouldn't I love to tell it."
Rasberry, a single mother to Emma Kelly, often shares their life on air -- but only so far.
"I'll be brutally honest as long as I'm the only victim, but you have to know when you can be real and when you have to say, 'I'll be real to a point,'" she said.
Being real is what listeners have come to expect from Rasberry, a Southern girl from South Carolina.
"Like I said, she's the most courageous one we have, and she kind of sets the tone for honesty on the show," Kraddick said. "She doesn't consider if this makes me look good or look bad. She knows that you're not going to win over people by trying to be cooler than them."
Even outside of the South, ratings are strong. But Kraddick teases that Rasberry's accent has kept them out of the New York market.
"We get a lot of resistance from potential [New York] stations," he said jokingly.
"He blames me for not getting New York -- ask him how he blames me for not getting New York with this lovely Southern twang. It's my fault we're not in New York," she said with a laugh.
And while she is one of the most successful women in radio, there's no ego.
"The thing is, I'm always afraid that Kidd's going to fire me," Rasberry said. "Every day for 17 years, I come in thinking, 'This is going to be my last day,' because I do say some things that probably are a bit, what's the word? Controversial, combative."
But Rasberry -- and "Kidd Kraddick in the Morning" is here to stay. The show recently renewed its contract with KHKS-FM.
"As long as Kidd Kraddick is here, I'm going to be hitched to that pony and ride it until it keels over and dies," she said.