Women To Watch: Keisha Nicole; 97.9 The Box, Houston

(By Charese Fruge’) Keisha Nicole is the host of “Good Morning H-Town” on 97.9 The Box (KBXX) in Houston, TX. She wakes up the city up each morning from 5a-10a. In addition to that she is the in-stadium co-host for the Houston Texans during football season.

She also hosts a self-love journal, “Say It with Your Heart,” designed to inspire and encourage self-reflection and personal growth, especially for Women and she has a product line that supports that platform.  

Keisha’s career began at KDAY in Los Angeles where she was an intern who took on multiple roles right away. “I started as a receptionist and HR assistant. I also worked in promotions and as a sales assistant—all while working on air during the weekends,” she explains. “My dedication was evident in my hour-and-a-half commute to and from work each day.”

“After four years, I landed my first full-time on-air position in 2010 with an afternoon drive show in Louisville, KY. I spent five years there before moving on to an afternoon slot with Radio One in Indianapolis, where I stayed for two years,” says Keisha. “Determined to return to a top 10 market, I set a two-year goal for myself. As the two-year mark approached, I received an offer for a midday position in Houston, a role I’ve now held for three years.”

“In 2020, I launched the ‘Good Morning H-Town’ show while continuing my midday responsibilities for an additional three years, effectively hosting two shows simultaneously. Last year, I decided to focus solely on the morning show. Additionally, I am the voice and imaging for several stations in different markets, further broadening my impact in the industry.”

“I have to say, transitioning into mornings was a significant challenge for me, especially following the legendary ‘Mad Hatta Morning Show’ which was in place before me. Just as we signed on, the pandemic hit, adding another layer of difficulty. Throughout this period, I took on many responsibilities, including producing and leading the show.”

“I’ve had some incredible experiences throughout my career, but my passion for sports has always been a driving force for me,” says Keisha. “Becoming the in-stadium co-host for the Houston Texans is undoubtedly one of the highlights of my journey. The thrill of standing before 70,000 fans, energizing the crowd, and enhancing their game-day experience, is truly unmatched.”

“Beyond the excitement of sports, community work holds a special place in my heart. I believe in giving back and making a tangible difference in the lives of others,” Keisha explains. “One memorable initiative was a blanket drive I organized years ago with high school students. Seeing their enthusiasm and the impact of our collective effort was deeply rewarding. This experience reinforced my commitment to community service and the power of bringing people together for a common cause.”

“One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced over the years was moving across the country without my family for the first time in 2010. I was young and suddenly had to navigate life on my own, which was both daunting and exhilarating,” says Keisha, “Looking back, it was also one of the greatest blessings. The experience forced me to grow, adapt, and become more resilient.”

“Additionally, the ever-evolving nature of the industry has required me to continually reinvent myself and stay ahead of trends. Embracing change and innovation has been crucial in maintaining my relevance and success in this field.”

“Balance is another cornerstone of my life. Over the past few years, I’ve been prioritizing my mental health and striving for a more balanced lifestyle. This commitment to self-care has been instrumental in maintaining my well-being and ensuring I can bring my best self to both my professional and personal life.”

“My advice for Women who want to be successful in the business: Immerse yourself in learning the ins and outs of your craft. Remember, it’s all about your audience, not you. Stay true to yourself; don’t compromise your authenticity for fleeting gains. Authenticity resonates with listeners, so maintain consistency and integrity.”

“Embrace social media—it’s not just a platform, it’s your professional identity. Ensure your online presence reflects your brand faithfully. Above all, enjoy what you do; let your passion shine through. A smile goes a long way in connecting with your audience. Seek guidance from a mentor; their wisdom can open doors and steer your career. Stay adaptable and be willing to change course when necessary. Invest in building your personal brand alongside your professional skills.”

“As far as connecting with the younger generation, I believe it’s all about keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s happening right now,” says Keisha. “Where I work out, there are college and high school athletes, and I often find myself playing the role of a big sister or mentor to them. They’re always introducing me to the latest trends and happenings, while I’m sharing the best of 90s and 2000s music with them. I have a youthful spirit and strive to be the kind of mentor I wished I had while growing up, as I didn’t have those role models back then. It’s crucial to be authentic and continuously find new ways to connect with the younger generation to keep the radio industry relevant.”

“Many people think being on the radio is EASY, but it’s not. It’s not just about talking into a microphone. There’s a lot more to it than that. Being a radio host is almost like being a storyteller. You need to grab people’s attention and keep them interested. That means knowing how to talk in a way that makes listeners feel like they’re part of the conversation.”

“But it’s not just about talking. Before going on air, hosts spend time preparing. They research topics, plan what to say, and work with others behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly. Off the air, hosts also have a lot to do. They represent their radio stations at events and connect with listeners on social media. In today’s digital world, having a strong online presence is essential. So, being on the radio isn’t as easy as it seems. It takes skill, passion, and hard work to make those airwaves come alive.”

What keeps Keisha up at night? “I have trouble sleeping—I’m a true insomniac,” she says. “Knowing I have to wake up at 3:30 a.m. every morning keeps me tossing and turning. But seriously, I feel like I’m not living up to my potential if I’m not helping others every day. I’m pretty hard on myself, so I’m working on being more forgiving about the things I haven’t accomplished yet. I’m always thinking about the next thing.”

“My mind never shuts down. So I try to find balance by hitting the gym and taking weekend trips to recharge. I’m a big fan of both the mountains and the beach, so sometimes I’ll catch a flight on Friday after work and be back in time for Monday. It’s the perfect way to unwind and reset for the week ahead. Also, I sit in my shower every day when I get home for 30 minutes with the lights off and meditate.”

Follow Keisha Nicole @keishanicole on all platforms.