Women to Watch: Uptown Angela


(By Charese Fruge’) Angela Watson Charles is an Executive Vice President of Programming for iHeartRadio, overseeing 54 markets and 295 stations across the country, specializing in Custom R&B and Gospel. In addition to that, she is the Program Director for legendary stations WYLD (R&B), WQUE (Hip Hop & R&B), WYLD-AM, and WRNO-HD2 in New Orleans, known to the city as “Uptown Angela.”

“I like to call myself ‘the Olivia Pope’ of all things Programming…a resource to our team to help grow ratings and revenue.” Her side hustle is event hosting and she’s flipped a few houses over the years in NOLA.

Originally from New Orleans, Angela started at iHeart (Clear Channel) as a Promotions intern in 1990, joined the Programming team 6 months later on air as “Uptown Angela”, then picked up Music Director duties, then APD, PD, Ops Manager, SVP Programming, then in 2020 became Executive VP of Programming for the company. 

Angela’s career path was pretty straightforward. “I actually researched Oprah’s path and saw that she started in radio,” she says. “I called the top stations to inquire about internships (WYLD-FM & WQUE-FM) The PD of Q93 invited me the next day to interview and he hired me on the spot!”

“Over the years, being a female in a male-dominated field, I’ve had to prove myself many times throughout my career, but thankfully I never gave up.” Her advice for Women who want to grow into management roles in the business: “Always do more than what’s expected from your role, dress for the job you want, respond quickly and accurately, network often and stay close to your mentors, continue to LEARN!”

As far as bridging the generation gap and trying to get younger audiences to engage with radio, Angela says, “We have to continue to add the next wave to our team and coach them up…we need them to stay in the know of what’s going on and communicate what’s important to our communities so that we may continue to evolve and keep our brands relevant.”

When it comes to her biggest accomplishments over the years, Angela says, “The awards for Best Stations have been greatly appreciated, but coaching up-and-coming rock star talent is what I am most proud of! Seeing young, hungry talent come in, work hard, then move into full-time roles within the company is what makes me feel accomplished!” 

The most exciting thing she’s experienced over the years was last year at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. “I had the honor of introducing Silk Sonic (virtually) and it was the coolest thing ever!”

New Orleans is such a unique market, for example, while the rest of the country is thinking about the Super Bowl, NOLA will be focused on Mardi Gras, then Crawfish season, then French Quarter Fest, then Jazz Fest. It goes on all year round. It’s the culture that separates the city from the rest. “New Orleans is BURSTING with culture!” says Angela. “Bounce music is a huge part of this, and the city has several artists who have been on the circuit for decades! Bounce picked up traction internationally a while back and more recently gained national acclaim with artists like Drake & Chris Brown using popular bounce samples in their tracks.”

iHeart plays a huge role in the New Orleans community. “Being the home of the big heritage stations in the city, iHeart NOLA is the go-to for getting the word out,” says Angela. “This ranges from kids/family resources and givebacks to keeping our listeners safe during hurricanes and citywide flooding. We’ve also got a well-oiled machine for Mardi Gras & the festivals…our talent divide and conquer! So you’ll see us EVERYWHERE!”

What keeps Angela up at night? “Just making sure no balls are dropped. With so many items on my list daily, before I close my eyes each night, I double and triple-check my next day’s priorities. To find balance, I work out and have ‘ME TIME!’ I also tell Google to play ocean sounds, the piano, or Chill Jams (on our iHeartRadio app of course), and just relax on the sofa most weekends!”

Her priorities for 2024: “To continue to grow our talent, ratings, and revenue,” says Angela. “I’m constantly thinking of ways to tap into what our listeners want and need.”

Follow Angela on Instagram: @UptownAngela

Charese Fruge’ is an award-winning Content, Broadcast, and Marketing executive with over 20 years of experience in markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, and Las Vegas. As the owner of MC Media, she works with radio brands and individual talents, especially young women, helping them grow their brands and negotiate on their own behalf. Find her at @MCMediaOnline. See more Women to Watch here.


  1. Love this Young Lady. Such a Positive Role Model for New Orleans young women.
    Much Love ❤️ We see and recognize your hard work and dedication.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here