Ria Ciuffo and Francesca Mariano host Chicks in the Office on SiriusXM channel 85
These girls are giving radio the old college try.
When Ria Ciuffo and Francesca Mariano met during a summer internship at the satirical sports and men’s lifestyle blog Barstool Sports, they were your average college students at FIT and Georgetown. Over the course of the summer, they decided they wanted to start making videos and created the Instagram account “Chicks in the Office”, where they covered a multitude of pop culture topics ranging from Justin Bieber to Victoria’s Secret models slipping on the runway and commentary on Bachelor in Paradise.
Founded in 2003 by Dave Portnoy, Barstool Sports, which is geared towards men, started out as with an almost entirely male staff, and whenever a girl would come into the office, they would call out the hashtag “chicks in the office” on their social media accounts.
— Gaz (@stoolsalesguy) December 13, 2016
Twenty year-old Ria and 23 year-old Francesca decided to turn that catchphrase into the name of their routine and have since garnered more than 20 million views on Instagram and 32 million on Facebook — and they’re getting paid.
After six months of producing content for their social media channels, Portnoy decided to give the girls an hour-long slot on the website’s SiriusXM channel — a gig that’s made them put college on hold for the time being. “I have my dream job right now and couldn’t ask for a better opportunity which is why I’m not sure I will be returning to school any time soon,” Ciuffo tells Moneyish. And when she told her parents that she was dropping out to try her hand at hosting a radio show, she claims they were actually very happy. “Of course they’d love for me to get a degree, but for right now I think they’re just happy that I get to do what I love,” says Ciuffo. Both girls are now full time, paid employees who film videos on behalf of Barstool in addition to hosting their radio show.
With no real radio experience, Mariano, who is originally from Chatham, New Jersey, admits to being a pop culture junkie and before departing from Georgetown, the journalism major was taking television production classes. “When I started as an intern I was given the opportunity to be on-air for a morning show on Facebook Live. That’s one of the great things about Barstool, if they see potential in you, they give you a chance to be on air, regardless of your position,” Marciano tells Moneyish.
When it comes to giving advice for other people aspiring to a career like this, Mariano says, “If there’s a job or internship that you want, take a risk — write an email or get on the phone. Showing some initiative goes a long way.” They’ve also learned a lot in a short amount of time. “Working in the public eye comes with positive and negative feedback. Don’t let the negative bring you down or deter you from your goals,” says Mariano. Ciuffo recommends staying persistent and not taking everything to heart. “Don’t get discouraged early on and work hard every day and it will pay off. If you want something, you have to go for it,” says Ciuffo.
While Mariano thinks she’ll return to school at some point in a part-time capacity, she’s relishing in the fact that she’s already landed her dream career. “I always wanted to be an on-air personality for sports or entertainment and now I get to do both. My parents understand the significance of that,” says Mariano.
Since the debut of their show on January 17th, the girls have started to receive a lot of attention. “People coming up to me every day saying how much they love “Chicks in the Office” has brought me an overwhelming amount of joy. The attention we’ve received as only made me want to grow bigger and better so we can provide more content for our fans,” says Ciuffo.
And just how do they decide what they’ll talk about every day? “We prepare for each show by researching different pop culture websites to help us gather stories and topics. We also do a call to action on Instagram every morning, asking people to send us questions they want answered on the show,” says Ciuffo. The rundown for the show consists of four or five trending stories, followed by two segments where they take calls, answer questions and engage with their followers. “Around Valentine’s Day, we had many questions asking us what we thought about the holiday in general, what gifts to get, or how to plan for a great Valentine’s Day,” says Mariano. They also love when they answer a direct message and get a follow up message regarding the same topic. “We received a message about how people’s dads are dating their kid’s friends from when they were in high school and are older now, so after we talked about it on the show we received many follow ups about the same thing happening to other people,” says Ciuffo.
“A year ago we would have never imagined we would be where we are now, which is what’s so exciting about Barstool — one day you’re an intern, the next you have your own SiriusXM show. One of Barstool’s mottos is “to the moon” so we’re taking Chicks in the Office to the moon,” says Mariano.
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