Written by: Kristen Ayanah
Brandy Wood is the marketing manager of WBGO-FM in Newark, New Jersey and she is curating creative content every day.
WBGO-FM is a public Jazz radio station licensed to Newark, New Jersey founded in 1979. Wood has been with the company for ten years as the marketing manager.
Her main goal as marketing manager is to push content and create continuous buzz through promotion for the station and for audience members to be engaged with.
Wood studied Jazz at New York University and played bass. WBGO-FM is the first radio station Wood has been a part of and prior to this she has worked in festival production specifically for the Newport Jazz Festival working with artists and festival logistics. Wood has truly been enjoying working at WGBO-FM and its environment. She says, “There are great people here who are dedicated and believe that Jazz is a cultural gift to the world.”
If there would be one thing about radio that she would like to change, it would have to be how certain people view radio specifically focusing on the younger generation. Wood believes that radio sometimes is viewed as simply being a technology item created years ago as appose to radio now being quality curated content.
Looking back on her career, Wood wishes she would have been more involved in production or learned radio production. Wood believes that having experience in production would help a lot with her marketing at WBGO and that production often times plays a vital role in storytelling which is what radio and media is all about.
When asked how she feels about how women are treated in the radio industry she says she can only speak from her experience at WBGO-FM. At WBGO there is equal gender opportunity on and off air and the CEO of WBGO is even a woman.
Wood’s favorite part about radio is the personal connection people feel with the station and on-air personalities.
“People have a more intimate connection with radio verses newspapers or television, and we see that greatly through our audience.”
One of the hardest parts, of radio marketing for Wood is trying to get earned media and coverage for WBGO from other media outlets like newspapers and television. She is also trying to learn new ways to be creative with her marketing that way she’ll reach broader audiences but often times this can be difficult due to WBGO’s financial budget. Never the less moving forward, Wood is excited about working in collaboration with NPR and Jazz in Lincoln Center for WBGO’s “Jazz Night in America” event portraying many different Jazz artist. Brandy Wood will continue to make her mark in radio and Jazz.
“Jazz and Radio is something really interesting that brings people together” she says, “It is the story of the best parts of America.”