10 Questions with ... Charese Fruge
May 7, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Charese Fruge' is a Louisiana native and has been in the radio business for 21 years. She is currently the Program Director of Mix 94.1 and X107.5 in Las Vegas. She's spent the last 5 years programming radio in multiple markets like Los Angeles, and for CBS Radio: San Diego, San Francisco, and Sacramento and of course Las Vegas. She started in radio in High School, worked her way through college and has spent fourteen of her 21 years on-air in markets like Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Houston and Las Vegas. She has experience in commercial voice over work for both radio and television. She was named one of the "Best Programmers in Radio" by Radio Ink in 2009, one of the most Innovative Programmers by Billboard magazine in 2011, She is the recipient of The National Association of Professional Women's "Woman of the Year" award in her field for 2011, Named one of the "Most Influential Women in Radio" by Radio Ink in 2012, the award for "Programming Excellence" for her station KMXB in Las Vegas from CBS Radio in 2011, The Genii Award for "Excellence in Radio Management" by The Alliance for Women in Media in 2012, and was Inducted in to the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame in August of 2012. She has been in Las Vegas collectively for 9 years.
1. Great to see the ratings increase at KXTE and KMXB is now #1 in Vegas in the March '13 PPM. Tell us about your ratings success at both stations?
We are very blessed right now, KMXB is #1 in every demo that matters...including 6+. KXTE is #2 P18-34 and is doing extremely well with our primary male target demo.
2. Let's shift back to KXTE, where has the station shown the biggest ratings growth?
The Dave And Mahoney and DK show has shown enormous growth in the last three months. They are currently #1 P18-34, #1 M18-34, #1 English M18-49, and #1 English M25-54 for the three month average.
3. What has been the biggest change at the station in the past year?
The full time addition of DK (Daena Kramer) to the Dave And Mahoney Show and the drastic change in the music cycle for the alternative format. We used to be rock heavy, and now with the mass appeal of artists like The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, Muse, Fun, etc. we have the right pieces of the puzzle in place and the right balance.
4. Describe The Dave & Mahoney Morning Show and the rest of your on-air lineup?
Dave and Mahoney and DK are very real and very self-deprecating (but in a fun way). They don't take themselves too seriously, but take their passion for the show very seriously. You have Dave, the straight guy who drives the show, Mahoney, who is completely unreasonable at all times (which is why we love him so much), and DK, the hot single girl who doesn't take shit from anyone and who knows more about football than most men. Adding Daena to the show gave Dave someone to have an intelligent conversation with, and provided someone to call Mahoney out when he's being ridiculous (because Dave and Mahoney are BFF's). We also just added Las Vegas Native and musician Jered Jones to the morning team as our Associate Producer. They are the perfect combination and true leaders for X107.5.
We also just hired Chris Jackson from KLUC to do middays on X107.5, Manley, our Music Director, does PM drive, and Bean does nights for us. Our support staff consists of Pauly who does our new music show on Sundays and the ladies of X107.5 include MJ and Lisa Walz. All of these guys are a pleasure to work with and make me look good. I love going to work every day.
5. What do you love most about your job?
I truly love working with amazing talent like Dave, Mahoney, DK, Mark, Mercedes, and JC (on KMXB), as well as the rest of our staff. But my true passion lies in finding new artists (and established artists), building relationships with them, and forming partnerships to market and make a connection between the audience and new music. There is no better feeling than knowing that X107.5 was one of the first stations in the country to play and put "Thrift Shop" By Macklemore and Ryan Lewis into real rotation (and we're an alternative station), and to share the love with our CBS brothers and sisters. I am such a HUGE fan of these guys. We are currently playing both "Same Love" and "Can't Hold Us" on X107.5 and these guys are HUGE right now. They are the "IT" group.
6. What is most important to you when championing new music for KXTE?
Naturally, "is the song a hit" is the first question. Is it mass appeal, does it fit the sound and style of the station? Is it part of, or can it become, Pop Culture? How is it selling nationally and in the market? There are so many factors that come in to play when picking new music. Our music meetings are long, passionate, and heated. Manley and I have perfectly DIFFERENT tastes which is the perfect balance because we keep each other in check.
7. What makes the station unique?
Our morning show is real, not cheesy or creepy (well, not usually creepy), and we try to balance the history of a rock market with the new cycle of music that is taking over. The people, the imaging, the music, the attitude, and the passion behind the station make us unique.
8. What do you like best about living in Las Vegas?
Are you kidding? (For Personal use) I have just purchased the URL: www.shitpeoplewearinvegas.com and it will be up and running very soon. In the meantime you can follow me on twitter @ChareseFruge and look for #shitpeoplewearinvegas. This is absolutely the best people watching city in America. People come here to go crazy and wear the most messed up outfits they can get their hands on. Some of these photos are EPIC.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
My Iced Venti Green Tea Unsweetened from Starbucks
10. What would surprise people most about you?
Yes! That is me!!!! I think I was 20 years old, if that old.
Last non-industry job?
In college I sold jewelry for Service Merchandise. It was my first broadcast job because they asked me to make all of the announcements. I still remember them: "Attention Jewelry and Watch customers, we ask that you please take a number for faster service, customers shopping our diamond department may proceed directly to the diamond counter without taking a number. We appreciate your patience, and thank you for shopping at Service Merchandise."
First record ever purchased?
Willie Nelson and Barbara Mandrell And The Mandrell Sisters at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, LA.
Favorite band of all-time?
Better Than Ezra (Can't get enough of my New Orleans boys), Billy Joel (I have every vinyl), Ray Lamontagne (he bleeds in the lyrics), and Dolly Parton (intellectual and emotional genius!).