Ali King Sugg

Owner & General Manager

Red River Radio

Heber Springs

Age: 34

Ali King Sugg

In the middle of a bidding war with an auto dealership magnate, Ali King Sugg had to keep calling her banker for clearance to go higher. He kept saying yes, and Sugg ended up with airwave rights to start a 25,000-watt radio station in Heber Springs.

For $309,000, she got a piece of paper and an FM frequency. In May 2016, KSUG went on the air. “So far it’s been a good investment,” Sugg said.

She is owner and general manager of Red River Radio, and she’s also a morning personality on her own classic-hits station, which has filled a radio void in a town of 8,000. “Heber Springs has been supportive.”

The venture made Sugg a 40 Under 40 honoree, but radio has been in her blood since birth. Her father, Sid King, owns KHPQ-FM and KGFL-AM in Clinton, and sister Ashley King broadcasts for iHeart Media and KSSN. “I grew up entertaining people,” said Sugg, who has three employees at the station. “But the best part is having fun on the air, talking about local events, shouting out a kid’s birthday and making a mom’s day.” She is also glad to give small merchants in town an advertising voice.

An Arkansas State University graduate who enjoys Greers Ferry Lake with her family, Sugg inherited her business philosophy from her dad and mom, a dance teacher. “It comes down to this: Work hard.”