Local Triad Difference-Makers: Katie O’Brien Tesh

You can wake up every morning and hear Katie O’Brien Tesh on your radio as the host of Jared & Katie In the Morning on 107.5 KZL. Along with Jared Pike, Jason Goodman, Man-Kisser Matt and Intern Hugs O’Houlihan, she entertains the entire Triad community every weekday morning from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m (Station Website).


After growing up in Pennsylvania with two younger sisters (Colleen and Molly), Tesh and her family moved to Charlotte for her high school years. She went to college at Appalachian State, where she fell in love with the mountains of North Carolina while majoring in Communications (Public Relations) with a minor in English.

In 2005, Tesh moved to Winston-Salem, where she would live for the next six years. My wife and I worked with Katie at ABC of NC (tutoring awesome autistic children) for about two weeks (she was coming and we were leaving). I also went to a couple parties at the house she shared with Casey Tolerico, Mary Beach, Audrey Niblock, and Meghan Maguire, and they knew how to throw a party!

Tesh’s first day at 107.5 was on Sept 15th, 2005. She started as a phone screener  for “Murphy in the Morning,” where she screened the phones for her first three months. Then Tesh moved into “the big room” (the main KZL studios) as a co-host. Along with Pike, she took over the show in June of 2012. (Follow her hilarious Facebook page here and 107.5 KZL here)


On October 24, 2014, Tesh married her husband, Ben, who is a dental sales representative for Henry Schein Dental in Western North Carolina. On August 27, 2015, the two had their daughter Eleanor (Nora) Elizabeth Tesh and a few months after they bought their first home in Greensboro.

I asked Tesh about her favorite parts of Winston and the Triad below:

Triad Questions:

Is your husband related to John Tesh? Does he like his music?
Haha!! He gets that question a lot and sadly, no.  (At least not that we know of! Probably is somewhere down the line!) We ARE fans of John Tesh, who isn’t?

What made you want to get involved in radio broadcasting?
I didn’t really know that I wanted to do broadcasting at all! I was looking for an internship my junior year of college and a position opened at Kiss 95.1/K104.7 in Charlotte. I thought a summer radio internship would be the greatest….spending my whole summer off going to concerts and events around uptown. AND IT WAS! The greatest summer of my life. I worked over 1500 hours that summer and was hired after I graduated.
I worked with them for 3 months but all of my college girlfriends were getting a house in Winston Salem (Audrey, Mary, Casey and Meghan!) and I missed them big time so I moved to Winston – getting the job with 107.5 KZL (and a brief time at ABC of NC, of course!! And here I’ve been ever since).


How long did you live in Winston and what years? How long have you lived in Greensboro?
I LOVE WINSTON SALEM and miss it every day! I moved to W-S in Sept of 2005 and made the commute to Greensboro for the morning show every morning for 6 years. Whew!!! I racked up a pretty big credit card debt just putting gas in my car for all of those years. I’ve been in Greensboro now for 4 years and love it more and more every day.

Which Winston-Salem neighborhoods did you live in?
I lived in Ardmore off of Sunset for two years, and in College Village (near Diamond Back Grille) for three years. I also lived off of Stratford in a neighborhood behind the Olive Tree for one year.


What are your top three favorite Winston-Salem restaurants?
Milner’s American Southern, 6th & Vine and 4th Street Filling Station


Are you more of a Hanes Mall or Thruway fan?
Thruway!!!! And I’m SO MAD that y’all got a Trader Joe’s after I moved!!

If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, a Bojangles Bo-Berry biscuit, or a Krispy Kreme doughnut?
Moravian Sugar Cake! And can we throw in some Dewey’scake squares, too??

What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
The Outer Banks! We spent many summers in Duck and Corolla.


Where is your favorite place in the mountains of North Carolina?
Any time spent in Asheville and/or Boone are the best days to me- I’m my happiest in the mountains. I almost seem to have separation anxiety in a way, when it’s been too long since I’ve been to mountains. I get antsy and know that a weekend trip will reset my soul.

Who is your favorite ACC team?
Because my husband is such a Wolfpack fan, it’s all I know! Nora is the littlest Wolfie and Ben couldn’t be more proud! It’s college football only in our house! (Ben graduated from NC State and LIVES for the Pack.)

Since you have lived in all three, what do you find as the biggest differences between Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Greensboro?
All three cities have a special place – and all have really great things going for them.
Winston Salem is so artsy, I love it! The street festivals during the summer were always my favorite (Alive After 5, Salute!) and the restaurant scene is booming, something I really enjoy. I’ll admit that I didn’t care for Greensboro when I first moved here because I loved W-S so much but the truth is, this city is growing on me every day. The downtown area is becoming more revitalized, we’re seeing more culinary progression (and breweries, too!!) and our social scene is growing. Charlotte is such a young city (with traffic that is getting busier by the minute), but there’s so much to do there! I do visit the suburbs of Charlotte so much more than the city itself but every time I’m uptown, I think to myself- this place is getting more and more awesome! The local businesses are growing and there’s always a new, fun restaurant and bar added to the mix!

Could you ever imagine leaving the Triad and if so, where would you go?
As much as I love it here in the Triad, my heart belongs to the mountains. I tell my husband that if he ever wants to make the move to Asheville, I’m in! He lived there for almost two years and didn’t enjoy it so that’s probably not in the cards for us….but I would!