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Joni Hilton Show gives Auburn, Web audience advice

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Got a problem? Auburn’s new radio advice show has the answers. The Joni Hilton Show debuted earlier this month on KAHI 950 AM and is already finding a local audience. The program is also developing a wider following through live streaming on the Internet. On recent shows – Hilton dispenses on-air advice from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday – Hilton handled calls from an Auburn woman wondering about the need for a long-term relationship, an Arizona man who’d beaten a pill habit and was hoping to get back with his girlfriend and a woman in Washington State who was dealing with a husband whose head wouldn’t stop smelling bad. “It runs the gamut,” Hilton said. “In-laws, marriage, raising kids. – 100 different things it seems like.” Hilton’s husband, KAHI director of sales Bob Hilton, said his wife approaches the radio program genuinely caring about the people she helps on the air with their problems. “She’s not there just to do a show, but out of compassion for people needing help,” Bob Hilton said. Rocklin residents and the parents of four children, the Hiltons hosted their own nationally syndicated TV show, “Hour Family.” Bob Hilton has served as host and announcer on well-known TV game shows like “Truth or Consequences” and the 1990 revival of “Let’s Make a Deal.” Joni Hilton has written home-help advice books, an award-winning play and even started a line of organic cleaning products with her husband. Hilton is also the Miss California USA for 1976. She went on to be a semi-finalist in the Miss USA competition. Advice and helping people with their problems is hard-wired into Hilton’s psyche. Her father, John Pennock, was a clinical psychologist and college professor who would discuss cases with his daughter, without identifying patients. In once case, a women was planning to leave her husband and came to Pennock with a list of complaints. The psychologist’s advice was to get her revenge by being sickly sweet to her husband for two months, Hilton recalled. “In two months, she came back asking why she ever wanted to leave her husband,” Hilton said. “My father enjoyed helping people find the solution for themselves.” Hilton said the advice program is an evolution of what she learned early in her life and the experience she has gained since then. That means feeling comfortable behind the microphone and answering questions like the one from an Auburn grandmother concerned that her children were not visiting. With a little humor and plenty of empathy, Hilton suggested writing them a letter communicating her feelings – feelings they may have no idea about, she said. “She said she’d do it and appeared eager to try,” Hilton said. The Joni Hilton Show runs weekdays except when preempted for sports programming on KAHI 950 AM. The Web streaming broadcast continues live on the internet when football or Sharks hockey is on the radio. The advice line number is 1-800-950-KAHI. E-mails can be sent to joni@kahi.com or, while on the air, to live@kahi.com. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.