Philly radio host, Marilyn Russell, celebrates 25 years in the radio industry this year. Over the course of her career so far, she’s interviewed legends like Maya Angelou, Madeleine Albright, David Bowie and more. She’s also a big advocate of nonprofits, as well as supporting “remarkable women” on her Sunday morning WOGL program, “Remarkable Women.”
Wondering what it’s like to be Marilyn for a day? You better get yourself caffeinated. We got the inside scoop on what a typical day looks like for the busy radio professional and the action in nonstop.
What time do you wake up?
I wake up at 4:15 a.m. and leave the house by 4:40 a.m. — showering and stuff the night before. Most mornings I remember to brush my teeth, and I’m at WOGL by 5:00 a.m. — give or take five minutes. There is absolutely no traffic on the road, and my commute is about 15-20 minute tops. I live just outside of Philly in Conshohocken.
What’s your morning routine?
The first thing without exception is coffee! Then I check Twitter for what’s trending — going through radio morning show prep. Then I meet with my producer (the best producer in the world) and review topics and giveaways.
What’s your workplace like?
My workplace is incredible. I’m surrounded by other super fun radio peeps — XTU and Today’s Hits are just down the hall. We all meet up in the kitchen for coffee, and the water cooler convo is typical: what’s new, what’s good and who took the last piece of paper towel? Honestly, it is one of the most supportive work environments I’ve every experienced. My program director is just down the hall doing double duty, so if I ever need him, he’s 100% accessible.He’s a very cool guy. Love working with him. My coworkers are all upbeat, after all we’re ensconced in music. We do fun giveaways all morning long with our listeners, and we 100% love what we do. Radio and entertainment of any kind is an absolute commitment — you can’t be half in, you’ve got to be all in.
What’s your go-to lunch?
I’m from Philly so it’s either a soft pretzel or cheesesteak, and our freezer is chock full of Rita’s Water Ice.
Give us an overview of the average workday.
The staples are doing entertaining radio that doesn’t take up too much time on-air — we like to keep the WOGL 80’s rocking all morning long. But post-show work includes meetings with programming, sales and/or promotions, post-show interviews with guests locally and nationally, as well as conducting interviews for my Sunday morning show, “Marilyn Russell’s Remarkable Women.” We video tape once or twice a week for various features like “Eat Drink and Be Marilyn.” I also host a series for wellness with physicians, and we typically video tape guests when they’re here being interviewed, too.
What do you love most about your job?
What I love most is that each day brings a new challenge. No day is ever quite the same and my producer — she gets everything ready so our show is seamless.
What led you to this industry?
Total fluke really. I was a professional voice over talent who fell into it quite by accident — and once you’re in, there’s no falling out.
What time are you normally finished work?
The internet never sleeps, so I don’t much either. I’m always paying attention to what’s happening in Philly. Honestly, being on-air is incredible and I love hosting mornings for WOGL, but the social media goes on all day. I’m constantly posting on one of my many social media profiles on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
Advice for aspiring radio hosts?
You have to have the energy, the passion and the commitment. There will be sacrifices — are you willing to make them? I look at my producer, who’s young, energetic and her enthusiasm is unmatched — she gives 100%, she knows what it takes. She reminds me of a younger version of myself. Having just started morning show producing six months ago, I see her missing that snuggle time with her dog in the morning, but never ever complaining about it. She knows this is her future, and she’s in it to win it. It’s a joy to watch and it reminds me to appreciate my position here. You can never take it for granted — but you can have an enormous amount of fun as well.