Mary Earle Larsen ’04

Co-host of Fox TV’s The Rhode Show

Musician Mary Larsen seized the opportunity to audition to become the next co-host of The Rhode Show: “As a musician you have to work on your confidence and your performing skills, and that is what I worked on at URI,” said Larsen, who sings and plays many instruments.

“With all the different ensembles, I performed multiple times a month. As an RA and orientation leader, I had to be a leader and role model. Through that, I gained a lot of public speaking skills and self confidence I didn’t have in high school.”

Those traits work in her favor as co-host on the Fox Providence morning talk show. As part of the extensive audition process, Larsen suggested a new segment. Inspired by Discovery Channel‘s Dirty Jobs, Larsen’s If The Shoe Fits would take a close look at jobs throughout the state. Before pitching her segment idea, she spent the day with a local beekeeper: “I was in a bee suit! It was scary and it was great. I want to do stories outside the studio.”

Larsen and her husband, Blake, live in East Greenwich. A graduate of Toll Gate High School, she has been the youth ensembles coordinator and a branch coordinator for the Rhode Island Philharmonic. She remains a teacher for the organization. She was also Providence Country Day’s performing arts director and works with a local film production company, Verdi Productions.

Larsen was one of more than 100 co-host hopefuls to show up at Twin River Casino in October to give a brief interview on camera. Based on voting by judges from Fox Providence and online voting, 20 finalists were selected. A shocked Larsen was instructed to come to the studio for a job interview where she practiced reading off the teleprompter. Videos of the 20 finalists were posted online and another round of voting commenced.

The final five stood arm-in-arm wearing fancy dresses when the winner was named on live television.

—Ericka Tavares ’88