Charese Fruge’ Talks To Beata Murphy

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on January 11, 2022

Beata Murphy describes her role as Program Director of KIIS-FM/Los Angeles as “running the most giant TOP 40 brand in the world.” You can still hear the smile in the statement, as she was just officially given the title only a little over a month ago. She says she got into radio completely by accident. “I was working as a bartender while going to college and one of my close friends, Ally, got a part-time position as a jock on the newly launched Wild 98.7 in Tampa. She asked me if I wanted to come hang out at the radio station with her. The rest is history.”

While Beata started at WLLD while in college, she eventually became National Director/Promotion at Jive Records in 2006, working with major artists, helping develop radio marketing plans for artists like Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Usher, to name a few. During her time at Jive/RCA, Beata’s team delivered multiple #1 singles at Rhythm Radio and helped break new artists. In 2013 she went back to her first love, to one of the nation’s most prestigious radio stations, KIIS-FM.

While she says it’s hard to narrow them down, some of the most exciting experiences from Beata’s radio career include all the amazing shows and artists she’s seen live in iconic venues. “From Mumford and sons at the Roxy, Chris Brown rehearsals on a sound stage, JT at a 3k seat venue, to Wango Tango rehearsals,” says Murphy. Some of her biggest accomplishments over the years for her are “successfully moving from radio to records, and back to radio again, and Creating a nationally syndicated show “The Vibe with Tanya Rad & EJ.”

One of the biggest challenges in her career Beata has faced over the years was being told, “You’re not qualified,” she says. But that did not discourage her. “You put your head down, and double down on what you do and prove them wrong.” Another big challenge for Beata, like everyone else was, the pandemic. “Professionally, it was more work, with a lot less. But personally, I got a lot of quality time with friends and family.”

Despite the demands of programming one of the biggest Top 40 stations in the country, Beata still understands the necessity of giving back. “I can’t stress the importance of mentoring enough. It is very important to have a mentor but also to mentor someone else,” says Murphy. “I can 100% say if it weren’t for the amazing mentors I had, I would NOT be the PD of KIIS today. And women in the industry need to lean on each other and understand that if you have a strong team, you can do anything!” Her main goal as a PD is to be a great leader. “It’s important to me to give my team guidance and support while helping them grow into the best they can be.”

Beata thought it was “cute” when I asked what she did in her downtime. She laughed and said, “Downtime? I have a 4-year-old.” The good news though is that nothing keeps her up at night. “I look at any issues as a challenge, it invigorates me to start the day,” she says. She also has a great support system. Her family and friends bring her balance, she says.

As Beata takes on this historic role as the leader of a station which sets the tone for new music and pop culture for our next generations, everyone in the industry will watch with envy, curiosity, and a genuine desire to see her succeed. She’s worked hard to get to where she is, and she will no doubt put her own mark on a station that has been on the same path for a long time. I can speak for most of us in the industry when I say we can’t wait to celebrate the fruits of her labor with her and watch her prove those who have doubted her in the past wrong.

Beata will speak at this year’s ALL ACCESS Audio Summit 2022 April 20th and 21st. Follow her on Instagram @wildbeata and Twitter @Wildbeata