20 Questions

Cherise Richards – A Friendly Voice on Evening Radio

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20 Questions is our opportunity to talk with various people in the country music industry. Everyone from musicians and singers, to record producers and DJ’s.

This month we talk to Cherise Richards of WQMX-94.9FM. A lifelong Northeast Ohio resident, Cherise has been in radio for years and is currently the host of the 7pm-Midnight show, which features the “New at Nine” every weeknight.

  1. You are a native of Ohio. Where did you grow up and go to high school and college?

“I grew up in Painesville, where I went to Harvey High School. I went to Lakeland Community College, then transferred to and graduated from Tiffin University.”

  1. What made you want to go back to school and get into broadcasting?

“I had participated in my high school’s TV news channel, WHHS News Channel 30, and that’s where I first got a taste of broadcasting. I loved participating in that, it was one of the highlights for me my junior and senior year. Broadcasting was something I had always thought about wanting to pursue, and I knew I just had to, because I had this passion for it.”

  1. Did you have any DJ’s that were an inspiration for you as you were making your way in broadcasting?

“There were so many that inspired me in different ways. It’s very cool that I have gotten the opportunity to work with so many talented broadcasters over the years, that I listened to so many times before getting into radio, and learn from them.”

  1. You worked your way up through radio. How is it to have your own time slot at WQMX?

“It’s the best! To be on such a great station, live and local, with an amazing, talented team, and the best listeners! It’s an amazing opportunity that I am grateful for every day.”

  1. What is a typical work day like for you?

“I spend a lot of it gathering information, reading country music and pop culture news, I take a listen to new music to feature during “New at Nine,” then I put it all together for the show.”

  1. What is your favorite part of being a DJ?

“Every day is different. There is always something new going on, and there is always a new song or artist to be discovered. You just never know what is going to happen next!”

  1. What type of “vibe” do you try to give as a radio personality?

“I’m the type of person who likes to have a lot fun and I like to be friends with everyone! That’s me, that’s what you get when I’m on the air, or talking on the phone, over social media, or you see me out and about!”

  1. Did you always listen to Country music, or is it something that became part of your life after you joined WQMX?

“I have always listened to country music, more so now, but I grew up with it because of my mom. She was always a fan of country music, lived in Nashville, so she was the one who got me listening to it.”

  1. You host the 7pm – Midnight show and present the “New at Nine” segment. What new Country music and artists do you like the most right now?

“I really love “Woke Up In Nashville” from Seth Ennis! Ryan Hurd and Jacob Davis, they just performed Rising Star Showcases here at WQMX, they are ones to watch. Also, Little Big Town’s new album ‘The Breaker” is really, really good!”

  1. Do you have any favorite Country artists?

“I have a few but definitely Garth Brooks, I grew up listening to him, every song I can sing along to and I love that. I can also relate his songs to different moments in my life. He’s also an awesome person, very genuine, giving, someone you want in your life!”

  1. What other types of music do you enjoy listening to?

“I listen to a broad spectrum of music, just about everything! I love music, songs that I can relate to, evoke emotion, or I can dance and sing along to. I’m not very good at either, so that tells you a song is good in my book!”

  1. Is there any one song that never gets old, no matter how many times you have heard it?

“Right now, it’s “Setting the World on Fire” from Kenny Chesney and P!nk. That song is my jam!”

  1. If you had to pick a year from music to have to listen to over and over, what year would it be?

“That is a tough one, but if I could only pick one, I would say 1997. That year I graduated high school, songs from that year will always stick with me.”

  1. Any stories, from experiences in radio that are a highlight for you?

“One of the biggest highlights has been meeting Garth & Trisha, two people that I really admire. That was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. They are two of the nicest people in the world and it was so fun to sit and chat with them, and get pictures!”

  1. Working nights has to be a challenge with a family. How do you juggle your work and family life?

“We have a pretty good routine. When our kids are at school, that’s when I get everything done. After school, it’s all about family time until I head in to do the show.”

  1. What do you like to do in your spare time?

“Spending time with my family. I know everyone says it, but kids, they really do grow up fast! I also enjoy baking and cooking, my daughter has really gotten into baking so that has been a fun thing for us to do together. I love a good video game marathon, going to concerts, and we really like catching the Akron Rubber Ducks, we always have such a great time!”

  1. It says in your bio that you are a big Cleveland sports fan. Of all the teams, do you have a favorite?

“I love them all, they all get a little piece of my fandom, and I have gear for every occasion! Cavs games are always so much fun to go to, I’m excited for what’s to come here in a few months, and the Indians are going to have another great year too!”

  1. Did you think Cleveland would ever win a sports championship?

“I always hoped, and a couple years ago I really started to believe it would really happen. I was at The Q when the Cavs won the championship. Those last few minutes were like slow motion. I think I experienced several different emotions at once. The arena, the city, it was electric. I high fived so many people that night!”

  1. What is your favorite season of the year?

“Fall. I love all the colors and the way the air feels. It is just different in the fall.”

  1. As a DJ you take requests. Any requests that you would like to ask your listeners?

“Keep being awesome. It is so much fun to talk to everyone whether it’s on the phone or on social media, and seeing everyone at concerts and events. Y’all are the best!”

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