If you tune into classic rock radio station 100.7 The Bay during the morning and afternoon rush hours, chances are you’ll be listening to Meredith Marx at some point.
For the last 12 years, Marx, 38, has been helping listeners navigate Greater Baltimore’s busy highways and byways by providing up-to-the-minute transportation news as the station’s traffic reporter.
The self-described “local traffic guru” left her job as a licensed esthetician and makeup artist in 2000 for broadcasting, working for several stations prior to joining 100.7. Marx also does voice work and owns her own DJ company, Meredith Marx Entertainment.
A Reisterstown native, Marx attended Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, graduated from Pikesville High School and studied mass communications at Dean College in Massachusetts and Towson University. She resides in Towson with her 10-year-old twin daughters, Casey and Parker.
How did you become a radio traffic reporter?
While I was working as a makeup artist, I got a call from a friend who was a reporter at Metro Traffic. He said, “I know you studied mass communications, and I love your voice. Do you want to be a traffic reporter?” I said, “I can’t be a traffic reporter; I don’t know east, west, inner loop, outer loop; I don’t get any of that.” He said, “You were born and raised here. Trust me, it’s not that hard. You can do it.” So I went to Metro Traffic, sat down in a little studio and did “Seinfeld” commercials, and I got hired that day. I’ve never looked back.
Describe your time at 100.7.
I consider myself part of The Bay family more than the actual company, United States Traffic Network, because that’s my station, and it’s local. My actual company has a subcontracting relationship with The Bay and is based out of Philadelphia. I’ve survived a few general managers, several program directors and more afternoon hosts than I can count. The Bay treats people with respect and courtesy, and here, you’re a true friend.
What challenges have you faced from digital competitors?
When people are sitting in their cars, commuting in that morning and evening rush, and they’re moving 5 to 10 mph, it’s very difficult to pull up traffic apps and cameras. It’s much easier to listen to a familiar voice telling you what’s going on. When you’ve been commuting to a job for 25 years, you like listening to people who give you the information you need. Unless people grow an extra set of eyes and can maneuver their phones while they’re rolling at 25 mph on the Beltway, well, it’s a lot easier to turn your dial and hear what people like me are telling you. I’ve had loyal listeners for a very long time, which I’m very fortunate and thankful for. So, to me, it’s clear that real-time traffic has not yet faded.
Do you think it will fade eventually?
As long as there are cars on the road and radio stations on the dial, assuming everyone doesn’t switch to SirusXM, which hasn’t happened yet, I don’t think so. I’ve had this debate with many people. Some people have told me that I’d better start looking for another job. Somebody told me that 15 years ago, but I’m still here. You ride it out, and if something changes, it changes.
How do you spend your spare time?
I’m looking into joining a gym, so I can start working out again. I also spend a lot of time with my daughters. I try to expose my children to everything, from sports to art to theater to travel to food and more. I want them to touch, feel, taste and see everything that they can, which is my job as a mom. On April 6, I will be introducing Frankie Valli at the Hippodrome Theatre.