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Radio star Jill Tracey encourages new generation to set ‘big colorful’ goals

Broadcaster Jill Tracey hosts “Hot Talk with Jill Tracey,” a community engagement and issues show that airs 11 p.m. Sundays on Hot 105.
Broadcaster Jill Tracey hosts “Hot Talk with Jill Tracey,” a community engagement and issues show that airs 11 p.m. Sundays on Hot 105. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

It’s tough to become successful in the media and often it’s even tougher if you’re a woman. One veteran radio personality, however, is beating the odds with over 15 years of success in the business.

For women — especially women of color — launching a career today is just as hard as it was decades ago, said Jill Tracey of WHQT Hot 105.

“According to a recent Women in Media survey, in fact, there are major deficits in the number of women of color in newsrooms. There may be fewer opportunities in radio, but that has never been my main concern,” Tracey said. “Doing a great job in the space I love and being paid handsomely for it, that is the goal.”

She currently hosts “Hot Talk with Jill Tracey,” a community engagement and issues show that airs 11 p.m. Sundays on Hot 105.

In her earlier years, Tracey became known as an entertainment reporter for a few South Beach-based publications.

She said that her first real break was writing for Black Beat and Right On magazines. A native of Detroit, Tracey’s career has taken her all over the United States, from Atlanta to Los Angeles to Miami.

Tracey also co-hosts another segment on Hot 105 called “Love, Life and the 411.” It airs afternoons with veteran radio personality James T on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

“Jill has a recognizable voice,” James T said. “She has a love, a passion and giftedness in wanting to deliver to an audience, what is happening here in South Florida. She is in the community. She meets people who are in the community and doing things in the community.”

Through the years, Tracey has influenced a new generation of media professionals.

“Growing up, my mother always listened to Jill just to get the 411 of what was going on in the city,” said Latrell Cox, 26, of Miami. “[Tracey] is one of my inspirations for wanting to be in radio. I think that a lot of my friends kind of take the energy that she has and change it into our own flavor so we can meet our dreams and goals too.

“She is proving every day that she and motivated women like her can make it in radio and that includes me.”

As far as Tracey’s future is concerned, the radio star has very clear goals for herself.

“I see my show being syndicated,” Tracey said. “I've finished my first book, produced it for stage and sold it for film.”

She added: “Be the person people come to, to find great talent and potential. And if you're the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. I see myself married to a magnificent man who loves and teaches me new things every day, and looking for property in Jamaica. If you are going to set goals, make them big colorful ones.”

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