Charese Fruge’ Talks To Morgan Wright

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on August 11, 2020

She is the prime example of what talent should strive to be in this very moment. Morgan Wright is taking on the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it’s had on the radio business and the economy and proving the only way to successfully get through it, is with focus and determination. She is currently the morning show producer and co-host for “The Jeremiah Show” on Q104 (WQAL) in Cleveland and in March she picked up the midday shift as well and is currently #2 W 18-49 in the market. She’s proven that she’s capable of many things and in the current environment of downsizing and cost cuts, that makes her a true soldier of radio.

She got her start in the business as an intern in college at Marshall University in West Virginia and was lucky enough to get a job immediately after she graduated. “I got my start as a promotions team member at CBS Cleveland,” says Wright. “Soon after, I landed a night show in a smaller market just outside of the city to get my on-air experience. In 2018, I went back to the station where I worked promotions at, but this time, as an on-air talent at Entercom’s Q104. I did weekends until I was presented with an on-air producer role on the morning show,” she says. “I’m thankful that I had a host who believed in me enough to let me try my ideas. Out of the gate I had my own segments and on-air presence, so when the co-host position opened up, I felt more than ready to take it on.”

No stranger to determination, Morgan always knew she wanted to be an entertainer. “When I was three years old, I would crawl out of my crib in the middle of the night and watch Jay Leno’s late night talk show,” she says. “I would carry around my cassette tapes everywhere I went. I was always singing, acting, and trying to make people laugh. I always knew I wanted to be in entertainment, but didn’t always know that I wanted to be in radio. In college I focused on television journalism, but quickly realized that although I was on the right track, it wasn’t where I was supposed to be,” says Wright. “I got an internship on a whim in radio my senior year. I had no idea what I was getting into, all I knew was that I needed an internship, AND FAST! Long story short, I fell in love. That internship made me realize exactly what I had been looking for.”

One of Morgan’s biggest career highlights over the years is any girl’s “dream come true.” “Being on an episode of The Bachelor was something I never imagined I would get to do,” she says. “This past season, they came to Cleveland and I had been talking about it NON STOP on the morning show. I wanted to meet Pilot Peter but kept getting denied access to the group dates because I was media. One thing led to another and the next thing I know, I get a call from a producer of The Bachelor, asking if I wanted to come be the female announcer for ‘The Bachelor Bowl.’ I got to meet Pilot Pete and be on set all day. It was an incredible experience and something that I will never forget!”

Another career highlight for Morgan? “Fan Girling’ over Lewis Capaldi in an interview,” she says. “It was a blast and he was amazing. He was so hilarious, we were laughing for the entire interview.” But there’s still one group on the interview bucket list for Morgan. “The Jonas Brothers!” She says. “Because….HELLO! They Are Everything.”

It hasn’t been an easy ride for Morgan. She’s had to pay her dues. “The biggest challenge I have faced is probably the lack of opportunity as a young broadcaster,” she says. “We all know that radio jobs are few and far between, so when I was offered the role of a producer, I took the opportunity and ran with it to ensure it would get me to where I wanted to be as an on-air talent. I wasn’t going to be a behind-the-scenes producer. I was going to get there early, be fully present during the show, and stay late to get the production work done. So while it was a challenge, I believe the hard work got me to where I am now. If I hadn’t put myself out there, come up with my own ideas, and been confident in them, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

That’s why Morgan is a big believer in mentoring newcomers in the business. “It’s especially important when you are just starting in your career,” she says. “My biggest mentor has been Amanda Casey. She has been with me since day one. She gave me my first internship on a morning show, helped me grow my career, and we even worked together at my current station in different day parts. It’s important to know you have a person you can call who will just get it, because a lot of people don’t. Radio can be draining–physically and emotionally. Being able to have a mentor there to tell you, ‘it’s okay, you’re going to make it’ has saved me, more than once.”

COVID-19 has presented its challenges as well. “It’s turned my radio experience on its head!” Says Wright. “I have been working from home since March! There are pros and cons…when you are in studio it’s easier to get into a rhythm. But what morning show personality doesn’t love 30 extra minutes of sleep?! I think the important thing I try to always remind myself is that people are looking for an escape from the madness we are experiencing,” she says. “I have my down days, we all do, but I take comfort in knowing that I am putting some positivity back into the universe through radio. And if it helps one person start their day on a more positive note, I have done my job.”

Morgan has been keeping herself busy during the downtime caused by the pandemic. “I’ve been planning side projects and building a stronger personal brand. There are so many creative outlets that are at our disposal!” She says. “But also, I’m not putting too much pressure on myself for them all to be perfect. I am resting a lot and taking better care of my mental health. It’s important to remember, quarantine is not a productivity contest!” She’s also been doing a little binge watching to stay busy. “I feel like I picked the wrong time to start watching The Handmaid’s Tale, but I am hooked!” she says adding, “New Girl is also ALWAYS on in the background.”

What keeps her up at night is making the isolation caused by the pandemic a lot harder for her. “I haven’t seen my boyfriend since January. He is living in London during the coronavirus pandemic and it’s been incredibly difficult,” she says. She remains confident however that things will all work out. “I have to!” Says Wright. “Knowing that even though I haven’t been able to see him for so long, our relationship is stronger than ever!” She says. “I know I will see him someday… hopefully soon.”

In the meantime, Morgan has plans to keep herself busy with some impressive projects. One in particular which we can all look forward to. “I’m looking at creating a new website and podcast to connect with millennial women. Both of which are in the beginning stages,” she says. “But when I think about what I want to put out into the world, it is positivity, encouragement, and laughter for us independent, hard-working females! One thing I love about radio is how connected the women in the industry are. I want to be able to build an even stronger sense of community and support for women everywhere, inside the radio business and beyond!”

Follow Morgan Wright on Instagram @morganpw