Charese Fruge Talks To Alex Fresh

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on February 2, 2021 

Unlike most in the radio business, I’m fairly certain she had no idea she would make a career of it in the beginning. Alex Fresh is currently the co-host of “The Jubal Show,” married to Jubal and a managing partner of Team Jubal Productions, which formed a little over 2 months ago, and syndicates the show in 20 markets, including Phoenix, St. Louis, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio and Austin. She is also a very proud mom. “I have a 15-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. They have brought the most joy to my life and I am so proud of them,” she says.

When she first started out, her career path had nothing to do with radio. “I worked in the beauty industry for a few years before making a career change where I began working at T-Mobile in Corporate B2B Sales for 9 years and loved it. My job was to meet with owners and decision makers of mid-market companies and try to get them to switch their corporate cell phone account to T-Mobile. My husband Jubal and I started recording and producing 3 podcasts per week in 2019 which led to me co-hosting ‘The Jubal Show’ with him for iHeart Radio in August 2020.”

“Anybody who knows me is likely just as shocked as I am about my new gig. Having no previous entertainment or performing experience, I was very outside of my comfort zone – which isn’t necessarily something out of the ordinary for me,” says Fresh. “Doing those 3 podcasts each week gave me a ton of experience and self-confidence. Even after meeting Jubal, I never thought I’d be doing something like that, let alone be co-hosting a syndicated morning show. It’s been an unbelievable learning experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.”

According to Alex, some of her biggest career accomplishments came about because of her consistent effort to operate outside of her comfort zone. “I’m incredibly shy and have a BIG fear of public speaking, and throughout my career I’ve always pushed myself beyond measure and would voluntarily speak in front of large groups, high level executives and at corporate meetings, and I can tell you, by doing that, it has made me more comfortable and confident in social settings, ten-fold. Being business/entrepreneurial minded, I stay focused and work very hard towards my goals and aspirations.”

Some of the most exciting experiences in her career include both her role in sales, and radio. “Since I had been an employee at T-Mobile for quite some time, especially where their headquarters is located, I feel incredibly lucky to have had some of the experiences they gave me. T-Mobile is an amazing company to work for, they care about their employees and threw the best meetings and events,” says Fresh. “However, I think the most exciting time in my career was recently, when ‘The Jubal Show’ entered syndication. Not only am I over the moon and wildly proud of my husband, but I’m also proud of myself and every single person involved in launching this beast. It took a massive amount of time and effort, but every single second has been worth it, and I feel part of an incredible team who is all on the same mission…to bring quality, funny, relatable content….and to be #1.”

For someone who is so shy, it hasn’t always been easy for Alex. She’s had her share of challenges. “The first thing that comes to mind is overcoming my fear and anxiety of being in a situation where eyes are on me,” she says. “I always felt like no one wanted to hear me speak, which is ridiculous, I know. Of course, being in sales for almost a decade helped me tremendously with that.” says Fresh. “Also, launching TJS last August came with long hours, less sleep and more stress. That equates to not enough self-care and I could tell my health was taking a toll. I had my very first ocular migraine sitting in the studio one day and that really freaked me out. My blood pressure was high, for the first time ever…lots of firsts! I wasn’t working out like I normally do, and I needed to make some serious changes. I did, and it’s amazing what a little self-care can do for your soul.”

For “The Jubal Show,” launching a syndication company was a no brainer. “My husband, Jubal, has been in radio for 20+ years and before we launched TJS locally with iHeart in Seattle, the last show he hosted was syndicated in 50+ markets,” she says. “He, himself worked tirelessly to get that show into syndication and was very successful. So, we decided to launch our own syndication company. He’s also a comedic genius, so it’s no wonder why a lot of the same markets, and NEW markets want to be with Team Jubal!”

Syndication does come with its challenges. I asked for Alex’s advice on how to handle the biggest challenge for talent broadcasting in multiple markets: remaining local. “I think the key to remaining ‘local’ is to remember that being ‘local’ doesn’t necessarily mean talking about city streets or landmarks. Thanks to technology and innovation we live in a global society, so staying relevant to the audience you’re performing to is just that… be relevant, says Fresh. “The broadcast industry now has a new ‘local’ and it’s simply changing the mindset to realize that there is nothing more ‘local’ than connecting directly to the people’s lives who you’re servicing. Along with tailoring content that resonates directly with what your audience is going through, or with their lifestyle there’s an art to generality if you talk about ‘local’ things that everybody deals with.”

“Every town has traffic, every city has economic divides, every city is basically the same… the key is to know how to address these problems in a way that is general enough to be in any city, yet still seems like it could be happening there,” adds Fresh. “Another positive factor due to the world we live in today is that almost every major story is a national one. So, knowing what ‘local’ stories a national audience will also care about is important. Honestly, in my opinion the best way to approach the question of ‘local’ is to not overthink it. Sometimes you can be so hyper-local that you even exclude residents of the city you broadcast to. The goal is to remain mass appeal.”

For someone who has embraced lots of change in her career path, Alex is a great mentor and believes that mentoring and being mentored are extremely important in career growth. She also feels like she’s one of the lucky ones, having been mentored by one of the best in the business. “I think it’s extremely important to have someone to teach and motivate you on your career growth and goals, especially early in your career,” she says. “I’ve found myself over the years watching, learning and listening to women and men who have so much to offer from their experience. Starting a brand new career like this, I wholeheartedly believe that I’ve unintentionally had THE BEST mentor, and that’s Jubal. Naturally, he and I have the same sense of humor so without even trying, he’s taught me a lot of ‘what the people want.’”

Launching a new company in the middle of a pandemic was a huge risk for Jubal and Alex, but she’s extremely optimistic about the future. “2020 was undoubtedly one of the hardest years on record, in numerous ways, says Fresh. “Personally, I’m quite an introvert and love my quiet time and space so I sort of enjoyed the break from the fast-paced, hustle bustle life that we’re used to. Being a mom, I had to learn how to be a teacher (Shout out to all the teachers) and it’s been a learning curve for all of us and we all can’t wait until they’re back in the classroom, she says. “My family and I also love to travel so that’s probably been the one thing that I’ve been missing most about ‘normal life.’ Professionally, 2020 has been my favorite year yet. I’ve been exposed to a whole new industry beyond my wildest dreams. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and I’m really excited for this year and everyone thereafter and I am incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities that have come about.”

In the beginning of the pandemic Alex had lots of downtime. She made good use if it. “Documentaries are my go-to and just like every other American, unless they’re living under a rock, I binge watched the ‘Tiger King!’ She admits. “We actually got to interview Carole Baskin on the phone a couple months ago – she started it by saying ‘Hi all you cool cats and kittens’ and now life is complete. I also enjoyed ‘Making a Murderer,’ ‘Don’t F**ck with Cat’s,’ ‘The Phenomenon’ and ‘Abducted in Plain Sight’ to name a few.”

As for what keeps Alex up at night. “The purpose of life and what’s after. It may sound crazy but I’m on a mission to connect to our greater good to find out as much as possible about the universe. I’ll report back my findings ha-ha,” she says. “Manifesting, meditating and yoga is what brings me balance. I am an ‘HSP Empath’ and if you ask me, it’s a gift. I’m an intuitive card reader and have the ability to read people and situations. I spend a lot of time in my tarot room where the vibe is chill and brings me enormous amounts of peace and relaxation.”

“My mantra for 2021 is ‘it’s possible’ and my intuition tells me that it’ll be a positive, successful year along with some tough challenges both personally and professionally, but overall will be nothing unmanageable,” says Fresh. “I plan to continue driving success and expanding ‘The Jubal Show’ through syndication, so keep an eye out – we might be coming soon to a city near you!”

Follow Alex Fresh on Instagram and Twitter @thatdreas