Charese Fruge’ Talks To Lindsey Brown

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on September 15, 2020


For someone so young, she is extremely wise. Lindsey Brown, On Air Personality and “Hockey Insider” for CBS Sports Radio 1140, Las Vegas shared some extremely good insight with me on facing her challenges in the business and coping with today’s crazy world. I was extremely lucky to get her to participate in “Women To Watch” this week since she’s been hunkered down in the midst of her favorite sport as the Vegas Golden Knights fight to advance to the Stanley Cup finals in the NHL’s Western Conference playoff games against the Dallas Stars. Lindsey moved to Las Vegas on a whim in August of 2019, after only starting in the business as an events specialist for 1500 ESPN, Minneapolis (now SKOR North) in 2017. A year later she was producing, and then she finally got her chance.

“I’ve always known from a young age that I wanted to be involved in sports broadcasting, but in terms of the radio side it was my 5th grade field trip to Exchange City–that’s basically a fake mini indoor city where kids play ‘adulthood’ complete with jobs and everything,” says Brown. “Leading up to the field trip, the entire grade went through a unit where we learned how to balance a checkbook, apply and interview for a job, etc. My first choice for career was the owner of the sporting goods store and my second choice was a radio DJ. My best friend got to run the sporting goods store and I showed up to my day on Exchange City radio and played the hell out of ‘Sk8er Boi’ by Avril Lavigne and ‘Rollin’ by Limp Bizkit.”

According to Lindsey, sports has always been a passion in her life. “My career and life have always involved hockey and sports in general,” she says. “Coaching was my first and only job aspiration until I decided to take an actual shot at a career in sports radio. My abilities as an athlete were always a huge source of confidence/self-esteem for me growing up so it wasn’t just about playing or knowing about sports. My life has always revolved around sports, it’s one of the very few areas I’m exceptional/fluent in. Every single one of my ‘futures’ that we all daydream for ourselves always included a ‘dream job’ in sports. And now, here I am.”

It didn’t take long for Lindsey to experience the highlights of living in a city like Las Vegas, especially when it comes to sports. “One of the neatest moments for me came in the very first week here, when HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ used a portion of my commentary about the Raiders as part of the show. It was a short clip, but everyone let me know about it,” she says. “There’s never a dull moment here. And I don’t usually do this but, the closest I’ve come to ‘fan-girling’ was here in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena when I made eye contact with Martin Brodeur (LEGENDARY goaltender that I loved watching/modeling my game after) in a press box exchange once, I couldn’t feel my legs for ten minutes. Same experience when I rode in an elevator with Tiesto up to that same press box. I just screamed internally.”

No stranger to the challenges of being a smart woman in a predominantly male format, Lindsey has taken her licks with pride and confidence. “I think everyone in this business (and every other) at some point has asked to be considered for an opportunity that they’re not necessarily qualified for, but one that you’re willing to work yourself to the bone and sacrifice way too much of your life for,” she says. “Because it’s the dream. It’s your dream and almost everyone has been told ‘no’ or ‘you’re not ready’ in at least one of those conversations. It’s devastating. I had one of those conversations in early 2019. And I was devastated. But I knew that I was ready and that it wasn’t just going to happen. So I started thinking about where I could move that not only fit my vision for my career and life but the best fit. And that’s where I came up with the idea to move to Las Vegas.”

“I believe that if you have the courage to stand up and ask for a shot or opportunity–no matter how big or small–then I think you are as ready as you’re going to be,” she says. “It’s up to YOU to prepare yourself in the ways that you need to prove that you are. Self-doubt is one of the biggest challenges we all face on a daily basis. It’s easy to believe those voices that tell you some version of your idea is crazy/too risky/not the right time/who do you think you are? If your idea/dream is big enough, you’ll hear it just as much from those closest to you as you do in your head,” says Brown. “But I’m starting to learn that when it comes to things/ideas I KNOW about myself; those ideas don’t come from my head at all. They come from my gut. My biggest challenge is actively choosing to go with my gut rather than listen and debate what my head is telling me.”

That’s amazing advice to anyone at any age in this business. Sometimes we over-think things so much that we forget to trust our gut. An important reminder for someone like me who is twice her age (yikes). That’s why mentoring is so important in the business. “It’s huge!” Says Brown. “I wouldn’t be here without the guidance that I have been fortunate enough to receive from so many different people. But my life changed after I met my good friend and former coworker Brendan Berger who’s a producer for SKOR North back in the Twin Cities,” she says. “From the night I trained with him on the board, I understood that he knew more about me than I did with my months long producing experience compared to his years…he saw how much I wanted to pursue this career and my potential before anyone else really did. Late night air checks, parody song scripts, connecting me with his network. He’s the first person in the business to not only tell me that I belonged in this business but that I could succeed and was willing to help me develop the necessary skills for my future.”

Like many, COVID-19 has had a major impact on Lindsey, both personally and professionally. “Everything changed in March. I feel so incredibly lucky to have a job right now when there are so many talented and hardworking people who’ve lost theirs,” she says. “Every day I try to tell myself to focus on controlling what I can control but if anything, I’ve been working more than I was pre-COVID. Is it healthy or unhealthy, I suppose it depends on the day? I’m just happy to wake up each day (so far) and I try to do my job the best that I can based on what tools I’m working with that day.”

The things Lindsey does in the little bit of spare time she has to try to stay balanced? “Hiking, golf, video games, tennis, reading, etc. My goal for this fall is to find someone to help me generate an affordable routine to actually DO these things on a consistent basis instead of doom scrolling or sleeping,” she says. Her television binging habits? “I’m one of those people that will re-watch shows/series multiple times so I’ve been revisiting some of my favorites like Euphoria, Parks & Rec, Killing Eve, or pretty much anything involving history.”

What keeps Lindsey up at night? “My brain, all my best ideas and scariest thought loops tend to turn up to a 12/10 at nighttime. It’s when I think the clearest. It’s a heck of a time to exist right now so there’s plenty to ruminate on,” she says. I think we can all relate, and while her balance comes from sports and outdoor activities, she also has a very unique interest in rocks….“While music, sports and art in general bring me peace, I also love looking at big rocks. One of the coolest things about living in Las Vegas is the nature scene in the surrounding mountains. My new life motto is when your problems seem/feel too big, go look at bigger rocks. There’s something about feeling small and insignificant.”

Wow! She puts it all into perspective. That’s why I think she is very wise for her age. I for one will be watching her growth and success. And as for her plans for the future, besides covering the Vegas Golden Knights, Las Vegas Raiders and all of the other sports teams we have to celebrate in this city: “I have so many projects and ideas that I want to get off the ground when the time/resources are right. For now, I’m just going to grind and work to be a better version of myself than I was yesterday. That’s all I can do at this point.”

Follow Lindsey Brown on Instagram @lindseybrown35 and listen to her on CBS Sports Radio 1140 AM from 3 to 5p or on radio.com