Such an approach clears the bar for many bookers, it would seem; and in person, Ms. Krost is compellingly charismatic in the way people successful on TV are.
Indeed, the switch from teenager expert to millennial expert prompted big changes for Ms. Krost: first, she had to alter the title of the AM radio show she’d hosted since age 16, Teen Talk Live, having received what she characterized to us as scathing criticism. The program was renamed, unsurprisingly, The Chelsea Krost Show. “I was like, wow, you literally have nothing better to do than focus on my 20 years of age? So, to come back at everybody, I decided to write a book called Nineteen. I was stepping into my 20s with this open diary, per se, of my journey from 16 to 19.”
The book, Nineteen: A Reflection of My Teenage Experience in an Extraordinary Life: What I Have Learned, and What I Have to Share, is intended both to list Ms. Krost’s wide range of experiences and to convey the breadth of current affairs on which she can plausibly comment. (Talk-show bookers, take note!) The chapter on her time in Africa, “CHARITY—My Drug of Choice,” precedes a short memoir of Ms. Krost’s time as Kotex’s youth ambassador.
“Every chapter is a different topic,” she told us. “Bullying. Mean girls. Body image. Nutrition. Sexting. Philanthropy. Every chapter is something I’ve discussed with the media as well as ample other millennials, and then personal experience.” The book, published by Jacquie Jordan Inc., is blurbed by Randy Weddle, the television instructor at Boca Raton’s Spanish River High School, as well as by Ms. Krost’s own editor.
Ms. Krost’s broad range of interests come naturally. She noted that her parents have always called her an old soul. “There are things I know and understand, from a very young age,” she explained, “and don’t understand why I know them, but I just do.”
It’s easy to get Ms. Krost talking about the issues of the day, a practice she undertakes by merging anecdotal experience with sweeping social statements. For instance, she has strong beliefs on the dangers of technology. “People need to learn how to use technology for the right reasons, for networking and growing in their career, and not as a tool to hurt people. So I’m constantly speaking on behalf of bullying. I was also bullied, so it’s very personal.”
Perhaps her ease in speaking extemporaneously comes from getting started on-air so very early. Ms. Krost quickly became too big a fish for her high school broadcasting department. “Only seniors were allowed on the morning announcements,” she recalled proudly. “I changed that. I was the first sophomore on the morning announcements.”
It was time to set her sights on a bigger goal. In the era of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, Ms. Krost saw an opportunity to speak for the young people, to communicate that not all members of her (very loosely defined) generation were self-centered, egotistical, seeking fame for its own sake. Imagine!
“It was a very confusing time,” Ms. Krost remembered, of Paris Hilton’s moment in the spotlight.
She pitched an AM radio station on her concept, as well as on specific issues of consequence to the millennial generation, brainstormed with her mother in a spiral-bound notebook. When the station manager told her that AM radio was a medium catering to a 60-and-older audience, Ms. Krost was undaunted. “Exactly what you said is why you need me,” she countered. “I’m going to bring a whole new demographic to your station and make AM radio cool again.”
She hadn’t expected to be signed, or to end up with her own show. Nor did she expect to start out on a media career of any consequence, producing segments and building a network of contacts. (“When I talk about plastic surgery,” she said of an early producing epiphany, “I need a plastic surgeon on the show.”)
“I literally thought it was going to be something that got me into college,” Ms. Krost, currently a rising senior at Marymount Manhattan, added.