Bryan Carstensen’s days start early. The radio producer and co-host for Cox Media’s ratings leader HITS 97.3 rolls out of bed at 3 a.m. and he is in the studio by 4 or 4:30 a.m. to prepare for the morning broadcast. Granted, he wraps up his “work day” by 12:30 or 1 p.m., but then he devotes much of his free time promoting the station at community events. He’s particularly passionate about organizations that help youth and combat bullying.

For years, Carstensen had dreamed of a career as a disc jockey, but “unfortunately, a former boss told me that I sounded too gay and I took that to heart. I decided it wouldn’t be for me.” Then he got the job at Cox’s Hollywood station as a producer.

“They were so open to me being me,” Carstensen said, and when the chance to work on air arose, he jumped at the opportunity. “Miss Bryan” was born and has since become one of the region’s most recognizable personalities.

“It started as a funny joke because I’m often mistaken for a woman on the phone or the drive-thru speaker and addressed as ma’am or miss, but I like it because it sets me apart,” he explained. “The community here is so diverse and welcoming and I’m really proud to be a part of that.”


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