Charese Fruge’ Talks To Britt Waters

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on March 24, 20202

As a Millennial with an enormous amount of influence on air (in two different states) and on social media, Britt Waters is taking the coronavirus pandemic very seriously. Healthcare and government officials are calling on the largest population across the country as well as older Gen Z’ers to be leaders during this crisis and emphasize the need to protect the elderly and practice “social distancing.” Britt says she’s been trolling those still traveling and going out putting lives at risk. “It’s not cool,” she says. “It’s not to be taken lightly. I hope that young adults will step up, take things seriously and set an example for those who are ignoring the threat, as well as set an example for younger generations.”

I like to refer to Britt as “The Queen of Hustle.” She currently does part-time work in D.C. on WPGC, 95.5 and for about the last year and a half, has hopped on a train to New York every weekend to work part-time for WNEW, 102.7. Obviously with the pandemic we’re experiencing she can’t travel to NYC right now, but that’s made her even more grateful for the opportunity she’s been given. Naturally, I was interested to hear about that five hour commute! “Being on air in the Market #1 has always been a dream of mine and I wasn’t going to let a train, car or bus ride deter me from it. I live in D.C. where I work legit five + jobs! What is sleep LOL?” she asks. “I wasn’t ready to move, but when blessed with the opportunity to do weekends in NYC, I jumped in acceptance. Sacrificing every weekend, sleeping on friend’s couches and dealing with the woes of transportation can be daunting, but somehow I always return to ease once I crack the mic for my first break,” Waters says. “Working with and for people I have so much respect for and growing and learning is well worth it even if I am constantly wondering where my toothbrush is (I currently have 3 in rotation).”

Britt wasn’t joking when she said she had five + jobs. “Radio is my first love,” she says. “Outside of the radio studio I am an NBA host for the Washington Wizards and host for the WNBA World Champion Washington Mystics. I was honored to be selected this year to host at NBA All Star Weekend. I also host two TV shows on the D.C. Cable Network in addition to doing freelance entertainment reporting on various local and national TV stations,” she says. “I’m an automotive journalist hosting car tours, test drives and a digital talent for Aston Martin and Bentley Motors. I consistently host in D.C. from seasonal karaoke night residencies to ring announcing for independent pro wrestling shows, and I also manage social media accounts for various brands and events on the side (Insert joke here about all work – no play, or being Jamaican because I have so many hustles LOL).”

Unlike most people, Britt always knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. “I knew I wanted to be a broadcaster all my life. In fact, I even dressed as Oprah on a career day in elementary school,” she says. “I graduated from University of Maryland, Collage Park with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism. At Maryland I hosted a weekly sports radio show, did play-by-play announcing and was the PA announcer for various varsity teams while also interning off campus. After graduation, I got my dream job as a producer and eventually on air talent on the nationally syndicated Russ Parr Morning Show. I worked alongside veterans that are now my family and mentors for life,” says Waters. “After years on the show, I found a program director who took a chance on the urban radio girl who also loved Justin Bieber (me) and gave me the night show on a Hot AC station in D.C. The rest is history.”

Over the years Britt has encountered her share of challenges in the business, but like a true student of radio, she’s learned from experience. “One of the toughest things for me at first was finding my voice and trusting myself,” she says. “The entertainment industry is unfortunately very competitive so it’s important to learn who you can trust and who may be steering you in the wrong direction. It took me some time, but I’ve learned no one knows me better than me.”

Despite the competitiveness of the business, Britt still believes it’s important to encourage each other to succeed. “I always strive to be a great mentor to others and to work together to build a network of people with similar goals who want us all to succeed,” she says. “I provide tutorials, tips, advice and vlogs online to be helpful to the next generation of voices and I still will always turn to those before me for inspiration and guidance

As for advice for those looking to get into the business, she says “Work toward your goals, but also enjoy every step of the way. I love the ‘Women to Watch’ feature celebrating women who put in so much work. We aren’t all going to be Oprah, Wendy, Ellen or Tamron, but we all have stories that matter from program directors, to board operators, to promo team members, etc. I hope anyone reading this knows their journey is important and if they’ve impacted at least one listener, one follower, one co-worker or one crowd, then they have succeeded.”

Looking toward the future, Britt’s focus remains on continuing to build her confidence and constantly reinventing her brand. Especially now that the world is changing at 1000 miles a minute and the way broadcasters connect with their audience will change drastically moving forward, and forever. “I want to make everyone I’ve come in contact with proud and continue to explore even more industries that radio has given me a voice to touch. I don’t know exactly what the years to come will look like. God likes to keep me on my toes, but you’ll always be hearing from me somehow, somewhere,” she says. “I’ve been tremendously blessed to have amazing life experiences in the industry. Not every day is easy, but every day is rewarding and helps me grow. I go to sleep amazed that I make a living having the time of my life.”

I overshare on my social media outlets @itsBrittWaters
I share my experiences and give tips on my YouTube: YouTube.com/itsBrittWaters
And give career updates on my website: brittwaters.com