Women to Watch: Shae Bae; Hot 104.1, St. Louis


(By Charese Frugé) Shae Bae is the host of Work and Play with Shae Bae which is on from 10a-3p Monday-Saturday on Audacy’s Hot 104.1 (WHHL) in St. Louis. She’s the midday host responsible for conducting interviews, making social media posts, and engaging her audience.

She also hosts an interview series called Hot Seat featuring local talent in the St. Louis area. In addition to that, she is also a TV VJ Host for the AH! TV Network all day on Tuesdays where she promotes events going on in St. Louis and interviews local businesses and talent. 

The St. Louis native attended her first concert at age six where she discovered her passion for music. She has been hooked ever since. It has always been her dream to be in the entertainment industry. She fell in love with all aspects of the radio industry working as a producer, board-op, promotions, and especially on-air talent.

“I graduated from Lindenwood University in 2020 with my degree in Broadcast Communications,” explains Shae Bae. “Prior to all of the shutdowns and layoffs due to COVID-19, I was completing an internship with Audacy and was filling in on overnights and weekends with NOW 96.3 (a station that no longer exists) and KYKY-Y98. When the shutdowns happened my internship stopped and I completed college not knowing when or if I would be able to get a job in the broadcasting industry.” 

“I stuck with Audacy and was offered a part-time board-op/producer position on KMOX and KFTK, working mainly weekends and a few overnights. After doing that from late 2020-late 2021 I was offered an on-air position on weekends on WHHL-Hot 104.1 and started in December of 2021. I worked hard, putting in the hours, staying consistent and building my brand, and doing interviews with artists. I was eventually offered the mid-day position which I started on June 1, 2022, and have been doing for a little over 2 years now.” 

“I fully believe to never give up on my dreams and if something is meant for me then I will be put into the position to go down the right path and it’ll be up to me to execute the outcome,” says Shae Bae. “I have also faced a lot of hateful comments on social media, I just remind myself that it is not worth it to respond and I am doing something right by making them talk. I always say if they are sending hate at least they took the time to spell my name right lol.”

“The most exciting part of the business for me so far is seeing all of the opportunities that are available. I have such a passion for music and connecting with the local community. When I was trying to figure out what to do for my career, I knew I wanted to do something that gave me an impact and a voice for many. I have enjoyed being able to do so many different interviews with artists and being able to share their music and their stories. I have loved being able to interview so many talented artists: Chingy, Bobby V, Toosii, Vedo, Ja Rule, and Smino to name a few.”

“I love hearing stories of seasoned talent and the struggles that they have gone through and overcome. Radio is something that has the ability to impact so many people no matter their age or background. I feel like it is important to take the stories into account of the older generations that have paved the way of radio to help bridge the generation gap in our industry.”

“While there are different likes and dislikes per generation, I think there are so many things that we can learn from each other. I feel like it is important to take into account that there are so many listeners who are dealing with the generational divide between themselves and their parents/grandparents. I feel like everything relates back to being a family and you have to build relationships in order to have relationships.”

“As far as DEI goes, I feel like it has changed a lot within the industry, but there is a long way to go. Being in Hip-Hop radio I often see the divide between women and men and different ethnicities. I hope to see more inclusion being made in the years to come. Being a part of Gen Z, I feel like my generation works hard to fight for inclusion or when something isn’t right. I am hopeful that there will be more inclusions in the future. It’s one day and one step at a time.”

“I have not experimented with AI yet, but I think it’ll impact the industry the same way it impacts music. With so many artists able to have access to tapping into creativity when they are tapped out, I feel like AI has gotten to a point where it is hard to tell if it is the actual person or driven by an actual person or not.”

At the beginning of Shae Bae’s career, Sherry Farmer, her college professor, helped her determine her career path. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I first got into college,” she says. “I took Sherry’s radio class my first semester and she told me I was born to be on the radio. She really skyrocketed my confidence and encouraged me to apply for my first position in radio on the street team. As far as my advice for other Women who want to make it in the business, go for it! Line yourself up with the resources to help you succeed. I learned so much in college and treated every class seriously because I knew that I wanted to do something in the entertainment industry, so I wanted to learn as much as I could. I am big on asking questions when I don’t understand something and to learn from my mistakes.”

“It is often easy to second guess if you are going down the right path or to be indecisive about making life decisions. You have to be confident in the fact that you will be okay no matter what decisions you make and that the right opportunities will come to you if you work hard. It’s important to be yourself and be your biggest cheerleader, if you don’t believe in yourself, then why should others?”

“You should also develop a support group around you. I think that all of my colleagues have the potential to become stars. It takes a special kind of person to work in the radio industry and if you have it, you have it!”

The world is such a crazy place these days. It’s extremely divisive and everyone is so sensitive. And with social media, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of anger and responding with no filter. Add to that “Cancel Culture” and it becomes hard for talent to navigate their authentic selves without worrying about what everyone else thinks. “I navigate difficult topics by sticking to the facts and allowing the listeners to form their own opinion before I give mine,” says Shae Bae.

“These are the conversations where I heavily rely on callers and hearing what the listeners think. Sometimes with difficult topics, it is listeners who change my own opinion if I am truly listening to them as well. My life has changed by realizing the impact I have on so many people on a daily basis. When I go out, listeners tell me about a story I told or a comment I made about a topic that stuck with them. Sitting in a room by myself doing my show, it amazes me the amount of people I am talking to and spending time with to get them through work, school, or their off day. I have learned to be really grateful for the opportunities and relationships I have and to be confident in being able to talk about important topics with listeners. You have to engage them, let them form their own opinions, listen to them, and earn their credibility. If you can do that, then you don’t have to worry so much about backlash.” 

“My thoughts do keep me up at night sometimes though,” explains Shae Bae. “I am the type of person that can’t sleep until my checklist is done, whether it is editing interviews or planning my show for the next day, I am always thinking about what needs to be done next.”

“I find balance by ‘planning balance.’ A few years ago I really struggled with planning what to get done first. I now mentally plan out my week and check off what I have to do one thing after another. I really rely on planning things and have to have a plan in order to be able to add something to my list.”

Speaking of plans, “My future aspirations are to grow in the radio industry and have a syndicated show, be a Program Director, or have my own televised entertainment talk show one day,” admits Shae Bae. “I love learning new things, growing, and taking advice. I feel like the sky is the limit.”

Follow Shae Bae on Instagram, FacebookTikTok, and Youtube.

Charese Frugé 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.


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