Brittany Says Goodbye to Q97.9
I’ve been keeping a secret for the last two months so let me just say it, I’m leaving The Q Morning Show. I’ll tell you everything, but first I want to look back. Come with me if you like or feel free to scroll to the deets at the end.
I was never the kid that really had an idea of what she wanted to be when she grew up. It honestly gave me a bit of a complex for quite a while. I was surrounded by other kids with dreams and goals and I didn’t have a clue.
On my 13th birthday, I was gifted a 3-disc CD changer, dual cassette, AM/FM stereo. It was at that point that I began listening to the radio as I got ready for school in the morning. My go-to? The Q Morning Show with Merideth, Jeff, and Lori.
I remember thinking how cool it was that they got up every day and went to work and had fun. Isn't that the dream? To spend 40 hours a week laughing and having fun. I started to think maybe that's what I could do with my life.
Fast-forward to my senior year of high school, we were required to do a job shadow. My stepmother had a friend who knew Maine radio legend, Jon James of our sister station in Augusta, 92 Moose, a station I also loved. So I set up the shadow and it was a great experience.
During my packing, I found an e-mail exchange with Jon thanking him for his time. Considering all that's happened, reading it brought a few tears to my eyes.
As my senior year of high school continued and I was faced with all those big decisions that come with that age. I actively decided to not pursue radio. For a few reasons.
First, I didn't think I could do it. I was woefully unpopular, self-conscious, and lacked confidence in pretty much anything and everything.
Second, if I got into radio I wanted to be in Maine. So many of the people I listened to had been there for years. I figured it would be impossible to get in and I sure didn't want to "pay my dues" working in another state for a couple of years at one place and a couple of years at another.
So that was it. Or so I thought.
Fast-forward once again to my 26th birthday. I was Facebook friends with Mac Dickson who, at the time, was at 92 Moose, being the endlessly kind human that he is, and not really knowing me from anyone else, messaged me to wish me a happy birthday.
We chatted and I mentioned my job shadow years ago and my lifelong interest. He invited me to sit in on the morning show.
I almost said no. I felt a little lame. Like I was going to do a job shadow like I was a kid again. There was no reason to think that, it was a kind offer and it sounded like fun. I had a day off that week so I just committed.
I'll quickly summarize what happened from there. While it was over a couple of years, it felt like a whirlwind
Before I left, Matt James, the brand manager, asked me if I had ever thought about working there. A question and situation that felt out of a movie. I was just some rando. Eventually, Mac threw me on air as a fill-in. I was happy chipping in here and there. Then I became a street team member. Then they gave me my own weekend shift.
"It's all happening"
In the fall of 2018, I was given an offer I couldn't refuse. Co-hosting the morning show on another sister station, B98.5. January of 2019 launched Buzz and Brittany in the Morning. I couldn't believe I had my own morning show.
That show lasted a year. And what a great year it was. Two key highlights were Cage the DJ where I lived at the Kennebec Valley Humane Society to raise money for them and then Camp Out Hunger where we lived in the Augusta Sam's Club Parking Lot filling U-Hauls with food to end hunger here in Maine.
It was around that time I received a call I hoped I would eventually get, but expected to get it after 3-5 years.
It was a call from Portland offering me a spot on The Q Morning Show with Lori and Jeff and mid-days on WCYY. I couldn't believe it. A show on the morning show that was always my end goal, and a shift on a rock station. One that is legendary.
January 2020 starts and so do I. Then the pandemic hits. My hopes and dreams of properly acclimating to southern Maine and getting out there repping the stations were slashed.
It's strange looking back. Out of everyone in my life, it was Lori and Jeff that I spent time with the most. Coming to work every day kept me sane through that time.
When the world started opening up more I got to be part of some fantastic events. Bikers for Boobies and Cans for a Cure on Q97.9 and witness the legendary Mark Curdo on Markathon on WCYY and I got to be part of WCYY expanding to the 103.7 frequency.
The last 2 and a half years have flown by. Now the next chapter.
This spring I was approached by what I initially assumed was some random radio guy at a po-dunk radio station. Who else would reach out to me?
I casually brought it up to Joey, fellow CYY-er and we looked into it. Come to find out this wasn't just any station. It was one of the biggest alt-rock stations in the country, if not the biggest. I quickly changed my tune and messaged him back.
Here's the thing, there has never once been a point in my life when I didn't want to live in Maine. While I was surprised and honored that this station was interested, they were in St. Louis, MO.
I decided to have a Zoom meeting with them. I figured at the very least having a conversation would be beneficial to my career and maybe I could use their interest in future negotiations here.
I almost felt like I was playing a character at first. I was honest in saying I was open, there was a part of me that was. As time went on that part grew.
One thing about the radio industry is if a radio station flies someone out they're very interested. I was surprised when an invitation was extended my way. Still very much undecided about what I wanted I figured again, at the very least, it was a free trip. At the most maybe they could convince me.
I flew out in June for a whirlwind tour. I hopped on the bus in Portland after doing my shows on a Tuesday, flew out of Logan, and got home on Thursday.
The great part about this experience is that I was so on the fence. I didn't have my heart set on the job so I was surprisingly relaxed through the whole experience. I had nothing to gain or lose.
Though my visit was short, it was great. I was seriously considering the move. Which shocked me.
I had so much to consider. One big factor is that I was starting to feel like I could afford to live here anymore.
Home Unsweet Home
Not to go on too much of a side tangent, but over the last year, I have become extremely disheartened about the livability of this state. As someone that has lived here since birth, whose family settled here off the Mayflower, I was thinking I couldn't afford to be home much longer. I wasn't living paycheck to paycheck, but the possibility of ever owning a home, or even getting out of a one-bedroom apartment without finding a partner or roommates felt impossible. I saw so many people struggle with housing. Landlords charging insane amounts. It was and is still scary for middle/working class folks like me. If anything happened and I lost my apartment I'd be homeless or commuting from my dad's house over 60 miles away.
This opportunity is a chance for me to get ahead a little.
I didn't take the decision lightly. It took me time to fully commit to the idea. To move halfway across the country leaving everything and everyone I knew. It was never a goal of mine to go to a major market radio station. I wouldn't have pursued it on my own. I wouldn't have thought I was good enough and wouldn't have wanted to move. But here the opportunity was, staring me in the face.
Of course, I ultimately accepted, or else I wouldn't be writing this. A month later I flew back out to find a place to live and here we are a month after that and I'm drowning in a sea of moving boxes preparing for a road trip with my cat in the backseat and my dad driving a U-Haul.
There are so many people to thank.
Mac Dickson first of all for being the one to give me a chance in the first place. Jon James for allowing me to be his job shadow when I was a senior in high school. Matt James for always pulling for me to be part of the team and more than that being a friend. Julie and Cooper for believing in me enough to throw me on a morning show. Buzz for being my first official co-host. Renee, Quinn, Mike, Jess, “Sam The Unpaid Intern” for so many shenanigans. Brian Lang and Herb Ivy for bringing me to Portland. Lori and Jeff for being a large inspiration for me wanting to get into radio and then being my co-hosts. Something I never could have imagined would happen. Joey for advocating for me and believing in me more than I ever could for myself from simply being on-air to making this big jump. Plus people that joined the fun along the way; Jaddy Daddy, MegMo, Denks, Caitlin, Chantal, Chuck. Celeste, Kira, Lizzy, Kristi all being “transistor sisters”. Mike Adams, Steelzy, Curdo, Kwame, Xander, Christine, Sarah, all the sales staff. Sean and Stephen….this is starting to feel like a yearbook sign-off…
I am grateful for my time here and love my listeners dearly. I've already received an outpouring of love and support and it means the world to me. Find me on social media and let's go on an adventure!