Charese Fruge’ Talks To Angie Morales

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on April 20, 2021 

She’s got quite the success story, having gone from being a radio fan to a morning show co-host. Angie Morales won a radio contest that changed her life, and passion forever. She is currently the co-host of “Moug & Angie Mornings” on Mix 106 (Townsquare’s KCIX) in Boise and also blogs for the show and station and is social media manager and hype queen. She is also the mother of two boys. Prior to 2017, she was a YouTube content creator under Univision partnership (YouTube.com/AngieTalks) from 2013 to 2017.

She randomly got into the business, literally by listening to the radio. “KLUC’s “Chet Buchanan and the Morning Zoo” in Las Vegas were searching for a fill-in for Lauren Bernard who started maternity leave earlier than expected. They launched a contest called “The Surrogate” asking listeners to submit a 10 second video and explain why they should fill in as co-host for a week. I submitted a video and was chosen for the top 10. We took turns co-hosting for a day and then were narrowed down to a top 5. I made the cut. Then another day of co-hosting and we were narrowed down to top 3. One final day of co-hosting, and a winner would be chosen. I was the winner. I filled in for a week and couldn’t believe I hadn’t discovered radio as my passion ages ago.”

“During that process John Moug worked at KLUC and we connected over Instagram,” says Morales. “And for the next 6 years we tried to make ‘Moug & Angie Mornings’ a thing. But I didn’t have any experience that anyone considered ‘real.’ Moug was championing me left and right. I was selling myself in interviews as best I could. My personality for radio was undeniable, but my lack of experience was always the deal breaker,” she says. “But Moug never gave up on me and I never gave up on myself (even though it felt hopeless.) And finally last summer Chris Pickett, director of content at Townsquare Media/Boise, took the leap of faith no one else would and gave me the chance to join Moug and start ‘Moug & Angie Mornings,’ which is a dream come true. If Moug or Chris ever need a kidney I would definitely volunteer myself as tribute. First come first serve, though. I only have one available.”

While it hasn’t been that long for Angie in the business, she’s certainly had some big accomplishments. “Admittedly, my formal career in radio has been short. But I joined Moug on air in Boise in July 2020. By October, our show was nominated for Idaho’s Best Radio Show, which was insane to find out,” she says. “Moug had been on air with a different co-host for 6 months prior to my arrival, and the show was fine. But there is a magic and chemistry between us that is undeniable. And it seems people took notice. During a pandemic when listeners’ radio habits were more unpredictable, it was hard to fathom that we were reaching anyone, let alone sticking in their minds. But the nominations are made by locals. So, there were at least a few people listening and loving what they heard. And that’s a high compliment and so encouraging. Just don’t ask if we won. Bahahahaha!”

One of the most exciting times for Angie so far involved diving into the community. “In December 2020 ‘Moug & Angie Mornings’ hosted a Toy Drive for kids in the community. It was a 12-day event (inspired by Chet Buchanan’s Toy Drive in Las Vegas), where Moug lived in a semi-truck on a dirt lot for twelve days as we collected toys, bikes, and gift cards to help for the holidays.” She says. “For one, it was heartening AF to see the way the community in Idaho showed up and showed out to help families in need and it was an awesome opportunity to connect with listeners. But the days were loooong. I wasn’t living in the truck, but I was easily spending 15-16 hours a day at that lot. Moug and I would hit this loopy stage of tired that makes you laugh at the strangest and dumbest crap ever. Some of the most hilarious inside jokes stemmed from our time out there AND we helped facilitate some good for the community. I’ll never forget it. Or at least I haven’t yet since it’s only been 4 months hahahaha.”

Jumping into a new profession which requires a person to live their life on the air doesn’t come without its challenges. “I’ve always had a problem with speaking up for myself in a professional environment,” says Morales. “Especially to men. Definitely some daddy issue/patriarchal conditioning going on there. And honestly, it’s still a work in progress for me, but I recently stood up for myself in a situation that would normally crush my confidence and it’s because I leaned on people I trust for support in doing so. I’m a firm believer in the ‘It takes a village’ concept. And having dope people in my village and communicating with and learning from them has made a world of difference.”

Unlike many, 2020 was an inspiring year for Angie, but perhaps that had everything to do with her attitude toward it. “2020 was the absolute best year for my marriage and my career. It was imperative to find a silver lining with the pandemic, and my husband being furloughed from work was it,” she says. “We went from barely spending time together between work and children, to having so much time to reconnect and enjoy each other. I mean, we were thriving.

Professionally I was finally granted what I’d been working toward for 6 years—my own morning show with John Moug,” says Morales. “It came at a time when financially my husband and I had no idea how we were going to support our family. Then BAM! Here’s a job, Angie. Your dream job, at that. And in the middle of a pandemic. Like, how did this line up so perfectly? I am not exaggerating when I tell you I’ll just start crying sometimes thinking about it. I’m such a dramatic baby. I’m just so grateful beyond measure. The transition of uprooting my entire family from everything they’ve ever known wasn’t so smooth, but it’s hardly of note in comparison to the joys.”

She did have a little downtime to enjoy herself. “My kid requested we take the journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so we watched all 46,789 movies,” she says. “Let me tell you, they got me. By the end I was way too emotionally invested in these characters. Like, it’s embarrassing. I hate-watched Bridgerton, which was amusing. I probably watched Schitt’s Creek 6 times. The whole series in its entirety. It’s a comfort show for sure. Highly recommend. It’s not overrated at all. It’s perfectly rated. The hype is real.”

Her advice to those who have been impacted professionally by the pandemic: “You are absolutely allowed to feel pissed and upset and like it’s not fair that this happened to you. It totally sucks and probably wasn’t fair. Feel it deep into your bones and then let it go. Stay visible. Keep networking even if you think it’s to no end,” she says. “Cause ‘surprise opportunities’ pop up when you least expect it. Freshen up those air checks. Keep practicing breaks. Basically, work for no pay and no listeners. Which sounds stupid, but it’s important to stay sharp. And just keep putting yourself out there. It’s what I did trying to break into radio, and it eventually paid off. And if you have to pick up a different job in the interim, so be it. Your career is still radio. Supplementing for survival doesn’t invalidate that.”

“It’s also good to have mentors in the business, especially when you don’t know what the future holds,” says Angie. “It is not lost on me that I am living quite the dream co-hosting a show with my mentor, John Moug. He’s been in the game far longer than I have and is continually imparting his wisdom; letting me learn from his mistakes in the past to ensure I have a brighter future. And of course, cluing me in on how he’s achieved his successes (of which there are many. Damn right I’m going to toot his horn). All the corny inspirational stuff you expect from a mentor but delivered with sincerity and hilarity. 10/10 recommend a mentor. However, as a woman, I do think it’s important to also have a woman as a mentor. So, I’m on the lookout for one. “ (Side Bar) You don’t have to look that hard: www.allaccess.com/women-to-watch 🙂

Morning show hours are the worst. But Angie seems to be doing fine. Not much keeps her up at night. “I work mornings so I’m desperate for sleep and knock out as soon as humanly possible…BUT I do occasionally toss and turn still trying to figure out how to defend the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ to haters,” she says. Her balance? “Gosh, I hate saying this because it’s cheesy, but I work hard and play hard. Every couple months I need a drunken 48 hours to party with my friends and/or my husband. Completely let loose and be ridiculous. That’s how I unwind. But on the daily I have time with my kiddos and that’s always a nice balance, just being silly with them. I don’t love when they act like demons and ruin my life, but you take the bad with the good. Isn’t that the facts of life?”

As we watch Angie’s career growth moving forward, she’s got big plans. “2021 is all about seizing opportunities to grow ‘Moug & Angie Mornings.’ Clearly my show is my baby and it’s evident I’m obsessed with my partner in crime,” she says. “So, the focus is on making our show the best it can be. We’re steamrolling ahead utilizing video and social media to supplement our on-air presence. Definitely heading to MSB (Morning Show Bootcamp) later this summer to learn from the best of the best. And personally, I have some short films and voice over projects in the works that I’m excited to share once they’re completed. It’s going to be a busy and productive rest of the year.”

Follow Angela Morales on Instagram @Mougandangie and @angitaparker