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Can you hear me now?

By Sarah Killip / Staff Writer

Since her freshman year at SUNY Brockport, Bri Milon knew majoring in journalism and broadcasting was meant for her. Radio being her end-all goal, Milon continues to explore opportunities within the field; she currently works as a news producer for News 8 WROC and hosts her own radio show, “Fat, Black, and Femme,” on WXIR.

“I like connecting with people,” Milon said. “When I was a senior in high school I went through majors. I went down and down the list and asked myself, ‘what don’t I want to do?’ And honestly, all that was left was communications and journalism. I started researching each of those fields and realizing what’s a part of each, and radio jumped out at me. It kind of clicked when I saw it. I was like, ‘Yes, of course. That’s definitely something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.’ So it’s been stuck on my brain since I was leaving high school and starting college.”

Milon found herself at home when she stepped through the doors of SUNY Brockport’s radio station, WBSU 89.1 The Point, on her first day of classes. She worked there as a DJ her entire time at Brockport and as the operations manager her senior year. Warren Kozireski, professor and general manager of WBSU, notes how involved Milon really was.

Bri Milon is in her cap and gown after graduating from SUNY Brockport. (Photo courtesy of Bri Milon)

“​Bri was Music Director as a sophomore before moving into the Programming area her junior year, first training new DJ’s and then becoming Program Director. Her senior year she was voted by her peers as Operations Manager, which is a one year position in charge of all aspects of the whole station, which is on the air 24/7/365 and has a staff of 40-60,” Kozireski said. “She was on-air throughout, doing different air shifts including being on summer staff before her senior year where she did mornings five days a week all summer. Her involvement at the station gave her the advantage of knowing more about the business than the students who just went to class, which put her way ahead of most.”

Derick Abbey is the current operations manager at The Point and worked with Milon when she was the operations manager there. Although the two only worked together for one year, Milon’s presence made a lasting impact.

“In Bri’s second semester in charge I was her sports director, which means I was in charge of the sports department’s duties,” Abbey said. “I have been at The Point for 3 years now and Bri was the person who really showed me how it all functioned.”

Bri accepts an award during her senior year of college from the New York State Broadcasting Association for the Best Promo in the college division. (Photo courtesy of Bri Milon)

Following graduation, ​Milon landed a job at iHeart Rochester.

“Working at The Point completely set me up for it. Training was a breeze because I already knew how to run the audio board, how to work Audition[Adobe audio mastering software],how to basically do everything they needed me to do,” Milon said.

Despite her love for radio, Milon wanted to explore other opportunities within her field. After about eight months at iHeart, she took a position as a ​news producer at News 8 WROC. Milon’s schooling at Brockport eased her transition from radio to television news.

“I basically write newscasts. I put them together, I stack them, I pick stories to put in them and I help decide how they’re going to go,” Milon said. “We’re given a good chunk of change, I would say about three hours. And then I usually do two shows in one day, noon and 4 o’clock. It’s a lot of looking at all the stories that come in and choosing which would be good for our newscasts. I basically prepare the rundowns to follow for the show. The schooling and everything that I did at Brockport made the transition really easy.”

With radio hooked on her heart, Milon voluntarily hosts a program, “Fat, Black, and Femme,” on WXIR. This show is an example of her passion – why she does what she does, and the barriers that she’s climbed to get to where she is.

Bri poses with Tamara Leigh in a studio at WXIR. (Photo courtesy of Bri Milon)

“It’s based on three parts of my identity that make navigating this field a little tougher. It focuses on the aspect of fat black women and how we navigate life on a day to day basis. It’s LGBTQ positive because I’m bisexual and that’s a big part of my identity as well. It’s meant to connect to that demographic so I am very open about things on the show,” Milon said. “Even at Brockport, there are no black women on our journalism faculty. There’re not a lot of role models in that sense. So navigating this field is kind of doing it blindly. You don’t know what it’s supposed to look like. Every time I see a black woman doing something extraordinary, it’s like wow, I did not know you can break the ceiling that high.”

Finding her path through this field is an ongoing, but rewarding process for Milon. She’s not quite ​sure where she’ll end up, but she loves what she does,​ and that’s all that matters.

“I’ve thought about becoming a professor one day, or teaching in my field because there’s not a lot of people like me. It makes navigating the field just that much tougher, but I like being around people and I like being who I am,” Milon said.

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