WBGO Radio, the voice of jazz and arts in Newark and New York’s only jazz station has a new boss. President and Chief Executive Officer Amy Niles told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that the station’s mission is not only in music but to bring news to the community.
“It’s mission is jazz. We are a 24/7 jazz station nut we’re also a community based radio,” said Niles. “So not only do we have jazz and blues, dixieland and big band music but we also have news. And we really bring the news to the community of Newark to the world. We’re a global organization.”
Newark public radio is one of the original 12 New Jersey cultural organizations that were designated a “major impact” arts organization by the NJ State Council on the Arts. According to Niles, Newark has an extraordinary history of arts and culture. Niles was also a part of the mayor’s task force team on arts and culture.
Niles said that what attracts people to the arts is the way it makes an impact on someone’s life, such as a song making someone happy or giving them self-esteem.
Although Niles has just been named CEO of WBGO radio, she said that she has been with the station for about eight years. Since she became the CEO, the station has increased signal with a new transmitter. Niles said that the station did a capital campaign to invest money and build a new transmitter.
Along with the new transmitter extending the station’s coverage, Niles said that the station has extended it’s service with an app and a live stream on the website.
According to Niles the station has done some joint ventures.
“Being a partner is something that we do very well,” said Niles. “I think one of the great things about what we do and being a part of the arts in Newark and Essex County and New Jersey. We’re part of this great ecosystem of the arts. Each one of us plays a different role. ”
During the 1930’s radio was very popular before television started to gain popularity. Now a days, more people are listening to radio than ever before. Niles said that radio still maintains its popularity.
“Because it’s accessible, isn’t that exciting,” said Niles. “There’s so much good programming that we have 24 hours a day. We have jazz, blues, classic soul, R&B –they’re all kinds of new formats coming. It’s a very exciting time in radio.”