Arts organizations, particularly those presenting live events, suffered mightily during the worst days of the pandemic. But like many businesses, some were able to find opportunities during the outbreak, or at least make the best of a bad situation. Put WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM in the latter category.
The Newark public radio station was forced to go completely remote — including its on-air hosts. Management scrambled to upgrade technology and keep the broadcast going. In this edition of NJBIZ Conversations, Editor Jeff Kanige spoke with WBGO Chief Executive Officer Steven Williams about how he managed that feat, what drew him back to New Jersey after a career that took him literally coast to coast and what WBGO means to Newark.
“We are part of the reason why people view Newark in in a variety of great ways. We know how some people view Newark and maybe that has some cultural or ethnic implications, but in the end, believe me, you know it ain’t all good,” he said. “But the fact that WBGO represents something so progressive and so meaningful, honest in the lives of so many people, and will continue to do that — that’s where we are, we are firmament, we are anchor, we are real.”