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Valley radio host Dana Cortez recognized for her contribution to the industry

The Dana Cortez Show Facebook
Posted at 9:27 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 00:27:11-04

PHOENIX — She's become the Valley's female radio voice. Power 98.3's Dana Cortez is the host of the nationally syndicated Dana Cortez Show. She knows how important it is to make sure women have a voice and that that voice has a purpose. She's seen the impact it can make firsthand.

"We did a show about a little boy who was bullied for not being able to speak English and that video went viral on TikTok and Instagram. And the moment I saw it I thought of my own childhood," Cortez explained. "I grew up not having the right shows, you know, wearing one pair of pants all year, that kind of thing. And it hurt me so much. So, we contacted a gentleman who is helping him and his mother... That segment just resonated so much with people listening."

That segment earned Cortez a Gracie Award, which recognizes exemplary programming created by women and those who have made an inspirational contribution to the industry. Given out by the Alliance for Women in Media, the award is meant to honor individual achievement and programming by, for, and about women. Past award winners include Melissa McCarthy, Robin Roberts, Betty White, and other women who Cortez says inspired her.

"Oprah's won a Gracie... Barbara Walters, you know, I've always looked to these women for influence and inspiration. And, to stand up on that stage... I cried because it was such a beautiful moment... to be surrounded by so many accomplished women."

Nobody is prouder of Cortez than her husband, the show's executive producer and co-host, DJ Automatic.

"I'm not gonna lie, it brought a tear to my eye. I was so proud to see her up there because I know the whole story," he said. "Being a woman in a man's industry and some of the things that she has had to hear from some of the men. It's outrageous."

Not only is Cortez competing in a male-dominated industry, but she also breaking barriers in other ways. She is the first nationally syndicated Latina-led show on radio.

"I feel proud to say I'm the first. I wish I wasn't the only, but you got to break the ceiling, right? And, let everybody else in so that's what this is all about."

She is leading the way for more women to follow while hoping to inspire others to never give up.

"Girls and women feel empowered that they have a voice -- to finish a thought without someone interrupting or belittling her-- and it means a lot because I hope that these girls and women understand how important their voices are and how necessary they are."

You can listen to The Dana Cortez Show Monday - Friday from 5 to 11 a.m. on Power 98.3 FM.