Fifty-three-year-old Diane Hoty-Bliss, an English and Spanish teacher at Lakewood High School and a part-time lawyer, calls her new show, â€œBlissfire,â€ a â€œpolitically perverseâ€ program â€œunabashedly challenging trends that undermine the American values and the American Dream.â€
The show debuted in April on WERE 1300 AM and airs Friday evenings from 8 p.m.to 9 p.m.
The premise of â€œBlissfire,â€ Hoty-Bliss says, is this: The show addresses â€œhot social, cultural and political topics with an entertaining twist.â€
And the twist?
â€œFirst of all, itâ€™s a female voice,â€ says Hoty-Bliss
, alluding to the fact that the most identifiable political talk show hosts, such as Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Chris Matthews, are male. â€œAnd as far as cultural change, Iâ€™ve
seen how men have been emasculated in this country.
grew up in a poor section of Athens, Greece, on Oct. 4, 1950.
Itâ€™s not exactly a rags-to-riches story, but it is the story of a hard-working immigrant family making a life for itself here in the U.S., Hoty-Bliss
â€œI feel like Iâ€™m the fulfillment -- or at least an example, as many immigrants have done it -- of the American dream,â€ Hoty-Bliss says.
While attending Lakewood High School
graduated in 1969 -- she
husband, Thomas Bliss.
The two were â€œbest buds for seven yearsâ€ before marrying on July 7, 1973, a month after both graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Theyâ€™ve been married now for 31 years.
returned to Lakewood High to teach English, Spanish and Russian while her
husband attended law school.
She then took night classes at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law to earn her law degree in 1982, and left the teaching ranks to join her husbandâ€™s law firm.
cites some of the life challenges that followed as part of her
inspiration for pursuing a career in radio.
The Blissesâ€™ first son, Drew, born in 1983, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 2.
After a 16-and-a-half-year battle with the disease, Drew died in 2002.
Their second son, Daniel, born in 1987, developed a severe form of autism at the age of 2.
Meanwhile, the Blisses adopted a 6-year-old girl, Elizabeth (born in 1989), who was a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome and drug abuse.
returned to Lakewood High in 1997 to teach English and Spanish, and she
still practices law part-time at Bliss Hoty-Bliss.
Back to the original question: Why the radio show?
says that the sum total of her
experiences has given her
a unique perspective on life. â€œAfter 53 years of formal and informal education, and straddling two cultures, I caught a glimpse of the big picture and want to share it,â€ she
says. â€œI have a lot to say.â€
was particularly inspired by her
son, Drew, and his
valiant battle with cancer.
Drew graduated from St. Edward High School with a 3.825 GPA, played several sports and was accepted to The Ohio State University before finding out his cancer was terminal.
But the most important aspect of Drewâ€™s story, Hoty-Bliss
says, is that he
touched the lives of others,as evidenced by the â€œthousands of peopleâ€ at his
funeral.â€œHe was a social butterfly,â€ Hoty-Bliss
says. â€œEverything always happened at our house.â€ Drewâ€™s bravery and his
ability to connect with people and touch their lives inspired Hoty-Bliss to pursue a career in radio.â€œI did my homework and called WTAM, but they were booked,â€ Hoty-Bliss says.
was able to gain a spot on WERE, although just for one night a week.
But while she
was negotiating her
contract for one night a week, the 5:30 p.m. Monday-through-Friday spot opened up, and Hoty-Bliss
snatched it up.
And â€œBlissfireâ€ was born.