Sarah Jordan looks back and ahead on her career.
Story by Remy Sisk
Photos of Sarah Jordan by Danny Alexander
Styling by Miranda McDonald
Hair and Makeup by Strandz Salon & Threadz Boutique
Clothing courtesy Sapphire on Spring Boutique and Strandz Salon & Threadz Boutique
Photos shot at Double Barrel, 147 E. Main St. in New Albany
If you’ve turned on your car radio at some point in the last decade, you’ve almost certainly heard the bubbly, vivacious voice of Sarah Jordan.
A true radio success story who has gone from intern to on-air personality to marketing director, Jordan has led a genuinely remarkable career, and her winning blend of superb talent and stunning personality makes her one of the community’s most revered public figures.
I first met Sarah when I was an intern at 99.7 DJX in 2011. As I began to work regularly with her, what always struck me most was her nonstop positive energy. She was always fully committed to helping me learn and gave me opportunities that I still credit as being highly impactful to my work today.
Personally, she always carried a contagious shine and lit up the room whenever she walked in. She and I would get overly emotional about reality TV contestants together and talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the latest singles (and fashions) from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. I learned so much from Sarah, and it’s no surprise to me that she’s risen to the heights that she has.
She’s been in radio for 12 years, and most listeners were first introduced to her when she was the night show host on DJX. When she became a mom, she transitioned to day shifts and worked mornings on 102.3, another of the five stations clustered under Alpha Media Louisville. Now, she’s the marketing director of all five brands, which include 99.7 DJX and 102.3 Jack FM as well as B96.5, Magic 101.3 and G105.1.
Jordan is keen to note that as she has gone from a wife to a first-time mother to now a mom of two, her career has simultaneously grown and developed. “When I was pregnant with my son, I was still doing nights on DJX, and I kept thinking that that was not going to work being a mom, and then I transitioned to doing a daytime shift and that worked better,” she remembers. “And so, as I’ve grown up as a mom, I do feel like my job has matured as I’ve matured – now in this level of management where I am with my two kids versus where I was when I just started having kids and was still a night show host on DJX.”
Regardless of her position, however, her passion for her industry has never faltered: “My favorite thing about radio,” she says, “is that it changes every single day. The landscape is constantly changing, mostly due to social media. Every day, we have to keep up with the latest technology, what’s trending on social media and what’s trending in the music world. So, every day is something different, and that’s my favorite thing about radio because just when you think you’ve figured it out, it changes the next day.”
Off the clock, Jordan spends as much time as she can with her husband as well as her two beautiful children. Currently, the crew resides in Jeffersonville and is actively building a house in Floyds Knobs. “Southern Indiana has always been my home – that’s where I grew up and where I went to high school and now my husband and I have lived here since 2009,” Jordan says. “We decided we wanted to raise our kids in the New Albany Floyd County school system, so we’re building back up in the Knobs now.”
Although Jordan is eminently ingrained in the culture of Louisville, she insists her love for Southern Indiana is strong and indeed emphasizes her appreciation for getting to split her time across the two states. “I like the small-town feel of Southern Indiana – I think it’s because I grew up there that it feels like home to me,” she enthuses. “I love Louisville, I work in Louisville and I probably spend more hours of my days in Louisville, but I like that I can cross the bridge and dance on both sides.”
Although Jordan is always busy – whether at work or at home – no time of the year is more demanding than Derby season, which is rapidly approaching.
Jordan has always relished Derby season and was actually a Derby princess in 2009. But this year, she’s going even further into the whirlwind by serving on the Kentucky Derby Festival board. Her work with the radio stations has her grooving around town already, and being on the board ensures it’ll be hard to find an event she won’t be attending.
But she’s up for the challenge and is sure to not only show up, but show up in style. “Obviously, I’m excited to figure out what to wear to the track because it’s always a task, but at the same time, one of my favorite things is pulling together hats and dresses and jewelry and evening gowns,” she maintains. “There is nothing like it.”
As far as her favorite event of Derby season, Jordan insists she can’t pick just one but does assert that one of the greatest experiences of the week is actually one of the less glamorous: “If you ever have the chance to be on the backside of Churchill Downs during Derby week, watching the sun rise between the Twin Spires and seeing those Derby horses practice for their big two minutes of fame – the sound of the hooves, it’s chilly, it’s damp, the sun’s rising, it is perfect.”
Although visiting the backside in the early morning may be a highlight, Jordan emphasizes that it’s more about the energy of the week than anything else, living through the hum of Derby week and embracing its nonstop excitement.
“When it’s Derby week, there’s a buzz in the city,” says Jordan. “I don’t care if you are walking down Fourth Street Live!, if you are you are at your house, if you hear airplanes flying in the sky or are you’re stepping on to the track. There is a certain energy that is around this entire city, and I think it’s because it knows it is being watched by the entire world for that one week.”