• Feature

Women Behind the Music in Cincinnati: Bridget England

One local woman’s passion for radio all started out with a toilet paper roll, copper, and some static for a seventh-grade project.

Bridget England, otherwise known as Mistress Bridget or Bridget Rock on 96 Rock, created a radio out of these items.

“I guess it’s always been there that I’ve always had this thing for radio and I don’t know, it just worked out,” said England.

England grew up on the west side of Cincinnati and attended McAuley high school. By the time she was 16 until the time she was 22, England worked for wedding receptions.  After she graduated high school, she attended the University of Cincinnati for a while, did not know what she wanted to graduate with, and then ended up graduating with a degree in Radio and Television Communications from Northern Kentucky University, NKU.

England was hired on, by Keith Mitchell (her current boss) as an intern with Susquehanna, a previous parent company to Cumulus Media, on Mojo 94.9 (currently Mix 94.9), Warm 98, and country station 96.5 The River (currently 96.5 The Rock).

“I worked overnight, like Saturday night midnight to 6 a.m. Sunday morning a couple times a month and I really think that my mom was the only one listening,” said England.  “She would stay up all night and listen to me and send me texts that she was out there.”

This eventually led her to her current role as Mornings with JD and Bridget on 96 Rock.

Even though she has worked at radio stations that play an array of genres, rock is where her heart is.

“You hear the stories of learning to play the guitar, like Slash learned to play the guitar on three strings and just decided like this is what he’s going to do.  I don’t know, it’s pure and it’s heartfelt. Whether it’s that breakup that you’re going through or the best day of your life, I think that you can find meaning in songs and for all of it,” said England.  “I don’t know, I’ve always been drawn to it. Pop is fine and country is fine, but it just doesn’t do it for me the way that rock does.”

With inspiration from 103.5 WGRR’s Janeen Coyle and Howard Stern, England continues to elevate in career.

Throughout her career, England has interviewed countless artists such as Slash, Pop Evil, and lead singer of Disturbed, David Draiman. One of her favorite moments involves Draiman giving England a CD of him reading the back of a shampoo bottle for her birthday.

“Yeah it was pretty amazing! Since I’ve had the opportunity to interview him, I’ve been like, ‘Oh I’m the shampoo girl,’ and he’s like, ‘You’re the shampoo girl? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever done,’” said England.

One artist she would really love to interview would be frontman of the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl.

“Being able to interview Slash twice was super awesome, but Dave Growl would probably be the absolute, I don’t know if I’d be able to speak kind of thing,” said England.  “He’s like my holy grail of interviews.” 

Aside from interviewing and playing nationally and internationally known rock artists, 96 Rock also plays local artists during their Homegrown segment- weekdays at 8:20 p.m. Artists can submit their music and each week one song from each artist will get picked to be played for the whole week.

Even though there are some stations that will not play local artists, stations like 96 Rock and WNKU do give the local musicians a chance. With WNKU possibly going out of business, 96 Rock will continue to play local musicians.

“In order to get the fanbase,  you kind of have to start somewhere. I mean we’ve all started somewhere, we’ve all done the job we didn’t want to do or the internship kind of sucked or whatever,” said England. “You got to start somewhere and if you can get a leg up and promote yourself from within, and there’s definitely local bands that are awesome at that and they should probably give a class to others. One boat rises, they all rise kind of thing.”

England has worked her way up the ladder from creating a DIY radio in the seventh grade to being a radio talk show co-host on a rock station.   

“I get to do what I love, I get to talk about music and stuff in Cincinnati.  I mean, again, all the stuff that I love,” said England. “The hardest, I mean definitely getting up after a great concert the night before you don’t want to leave.  3:45 comes super early.”

Even though majority of her job is easy to her, if was not for working those late-night shifts when she was an intern she would not be where she is today.

One thing she has learned over the years is to never say no to opportunities, especially if someone is just starting out in the business.

“It might not sound like that great of an idea, you’re probably not going to get paid for it, but you know what? It could land you exactly where you want to be,” said England.

March is Women’s History Month, in celebration, CincyMusic.com will be featuring important women behind the music scene in Cincinnati. Cincinnati is the home of so many amazing women within the music industry. These women include; an activist, a Director of Marketing, Innovator, DJ, Producermusicians, and many more!

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