Charese Fruge’ Talks To Serina Perez

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on April 27, 2021 

Serina Perez is the co-host of “Tino Cochino Radio,” which is nationally syndicated by YEA Networks. She describes her role as the “Voice of Women.” “My role is to relate to women who are still trying to figure out motherhood, balance a career and take care of themselves without the mom guilt!” says Perez. That’s a badly needed and relatable role right now thanks to the pandemic and the impact it’s had on women in the last year, especially those with children. Serina has a one-year-old son and a brand-new job. She joined the Tino Cochino show just last year.

For Serina, it all started for her in radio in college. “I started my first radio internship in 2010 and since then, have been working my way up from board operator, overnights, weekends and eventually in January of 2019, hosting my own night show on KMLE until I joined “Tino Cochino Radio.”

“It’s so crazy to look back at the beginning because I never had an interest in getting into radio until a friend reached out and thought I would be a good fit on the promotions team,” says Perez. “After telling him NO, multiple times I finally gave it a shot and ended up falling in love with it and here we are almost 11 years later, and I still have the same excitement that I did on the first day.”

While making her way on to a nationally syndicated radio show, for Serina, that is just one of her major accomplishments so far. “Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to graduate from Arizona State University and in 2019 I finally did it! I received my B.A. in sports journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications,” she says. “I was pregnant my last year and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it work. But I balanced my radio show, two additional serving jobs and my final year in college. My water actually broke while I was filming a story for school, and two weeks later I came back to not only finish my story but finish out my last semester to become a first-generation college graduate. Knowing I was able to accomplish all that and carry a life is a constant reminder of what I’m capable of.”

One of the most exciting things for Serina over the last 11 years of her radio career was the first time she got to go live by herself! “There’s nothing more exciting than finally getting that shot after working so hard,” she says. “I used to do late nights on the weekends and when I was told I was getting my weekend slot I called everyone! I was so excited and then when I got to work, I felt so nauseous with nerves, I think I might have even thrown up! But there’s nothing like those nerves and sweaty palms right before you crack the mic for the first time,” says Perez.

I think everyone in the industry can remember the story of the first time they ever cracked the mic and got the nerve to actually go live, it’s not an easy thing to do. And despite all the glory and glamour that comes with being on the air, radio is still a challenging business. “I got a lot of no’s before I was finally on-air and was passed up for a lot of opportunities,” says Perez. “It was so discouraging, and I started to question if being an on-air personality was for me. There was one moment I actually thought about quitting, but then a friend told me ‘it’s always easy to quit when things aren’t going your way.’ I still carry that with me. If you have a vision and you want something bad enough the only thing that’s going to stop you is quitting. So, I worked harder, and I never let myself question my talents again.”

Another challenge for Serina was 2020 and the pandemic. It was very emotional for her she says. “There’s no other way to put it. In the same year of fearing for my family’s health, I got more time with my family. In the year I thought that my radio career was over, I got my first big break. In the same year I felt isolated, I also felt at peace. It was just a lot emotionally,” she says. She did manage to stay busy chasing her one-year-old around and binge watch a little TV. “I watched a lot of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Mickey Mouse Club House.”

Despite her busy schedule, the things that keep her up at night seem to energize her. “I think about excitement for the future. New goals, new achievements and just the overall excitement of what I want to accomplish,” she says. She manages to stay sane by prioritizing time with her family and friends. And when things get back to normal, attending sporting events. Serina loves everything related to sports, especially baseball. From attending games and drinking overpriced ballpark beers to buying every piece of unnecessary team merch.

As things slowly get back to normal, Serina is looking forward to some badly needed travel time and bringing to life some of the projects she’s been working on during the pandemic. She’s also excited about the future of “Tino Cochino Radio” and its continued growth across the country.

Follow Serina Perez on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM @TheeSerinaPerezSe