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  • Writer's pictureTwanda Black

My Radio Journey

By Twanda Black

I’ve always been a program narrator or host as a child growing up in the AME Church here in Atlanta. I never dreamed I would use my gift of gab in radio, I wanted to be a Public Relations Practitioner! I majored in Communications with a concentration in PR in college and I loved it! However, as a black female in the 80’s I couldn’t get a job in the field, so I became a proofreader at a printing company working the night shift. I then applied for a job at WIGO-The Heart & Soul of the City as a receptionist in the daytime and did everything from answering the phone to cleaning out prize closets.

One day I walked into the office of Byron Pitts, The Program Director at the time and told him I could do what his announcers were doing and he sat back and looked at me and said ok- you’re on this Friday night from 12 midnight to 6 am. I was shocked, scared and excited all at the same time- it was Wednesday! I had 2 days to train and I can truly say the rest is history!

From Atlanta, I went to St. Petersburg, FL WRXB for my first full time job and then WTMP in Tampa, back to Atlanta at WCNN-Love Songs & A Touch of Jazz then to Columbus Ga to work for Davis Broadcasting at Foxie 105 and back to Atlanta at WALR-104.1 Jazz Flavors and landed at WALR KISS 104.1 where I’m still employed today for close to 30 years. I’ve worked for syndicated radio at AURN for 9 years where I hosted a gospel show and I now host Inspirations Across America, syndicated in 23 markets. As you can see, I love what I do encouraging and uplifting people everywhere.

I’ve managed to stay relevant by the grace of God because the radio business can love you one day and you’re out the next. I’ve been through several downsizings in my career, but I have maintained my position as public affairs manager and gospel host by making sure I follow instructions, I add value to everyone around me and I forge great relationships.

My advice to up and coming announcers is to: 1. Learn all you can inside and outside about the business on radio 2. Don’t burn bridges-take a beat in challenging situations 3. Don’t say anything about anyone you wouldn’t say to their face-everyone talks and it comes back around! 4. Listen more than you speak- you’ll learn so much more 5. Don’t be afraid of new technology- become a pro 5. Create solid relationships, there are so many times you will need to pick up the phone and call someone personally 6. Be open to perform other tasks- I’ve worked in promotions, programming and continuity-it expanded my knowledge knowing how everyone around me performed their jobs 7. Read as much as you can everyday- it helps with spontaneity when you’re on the air 8. And most of all, remember that radio made you-you didn’t make radio. Don’t step on folks when you’re moving up the ladder –you may need those same folks on the way down. Be kind!

Twanda Black

Public Affairs Director & Host of Good News Gospel

Kiss 104.1 FM Atlanta, GA

  • Writer's pictureTwanda Black

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Here we are in 2022, two years after the first round of COVID-19 and truth be told, we are still in the same situation. However, we have learned to live through it and protect ourselves with vaccines, boosters, masks and social distancing.

Travel has opened back up with close to pre-covid numbers, I can attest to that as I traveled to Los Angeles recently. Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport is so spacious and beautiful that even if there are millions of travelers, you don’t feel like it’s overly crowded, but LAX is going through a remodel and it was so crowded, it felt like chaos with many not wearing masks! Anyhoooo, my friends said, “You can’t go to LA and not visit the Santa Monica Pier!” So, you know I had to go with my mom, sister and a great friend, we braved the crowds of beach goers and tourists.

The iconic Santa Monica Beach is only 3.5 miles long with 245 acres of sand. The area is full of shopping, restaurants, rides, souvenirs and more. The blue water of the pacific ocean against the looming mountains in the background was so majestic that I could only think of the Maker of All Things! Though not the official end of the famous Route 66, it is symbolic and the true end of the trail is within a 9 block walk. The weather was a cool 78-80 degrees in mid-June and it was a gorgeous day to see the sights! All Photo Credits: Twanda Black

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  • Writer's pictureTwanda Black

Travel at Your Own Risk!

Sure, I’m talking about Covid-19, but I’m really talking about the violence happening in air travel. What has happened to respect, caring and love for others, especially those whose job it is to serve us. Unruly passengers have become the norm in air travel. According to the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, there have been more than 5,000 disruptive passenger reports sent to the Federal Aviation Administration since the beginning of this year! That’s more disruptions in 2021 that the entire 31-year history of recording such behaviors and the year is not over yet!

The FAA shows that more than 70% of the incidents on planes this year are over masks. There is a mask mandate from the moment you walk into any airport until you leave the airport at your destination. It is a federal requirement since February of this year. The industry of air travel has an entire set of rules to keep everyone safe during their journey. We have to follow the rules or not fly-it’s as simple as that! Rules are in place for a reason. Some folks may not be able to get vaccinated, so wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer and social distancing can help to keep everyone safe.

The disruptions are making it hard for flight attendants to do their jobs. They are a threat to the crew and to you as a passenger. We’ve seen the videos of innocent passengers getting hurt in the chaos by flying fists and other objects. The bad behavior also potentially poses a threat because it distracts everyone, especially the flight crew from recognizing potential terrorism threats.

I’ve been on a flight where a passenger had too much to drink and caused the flight to be diverted to another airport- think about how many folks missed their connecting flights. What an inconvenience! We all watched while the air marshal took the guy off in handcuffs with his crying children and embarrassed wife trailing behind him with their heads hung low. If the bad behavior starts before the flight takes off, the flight will not take off until the issue is settled, but if in the air, your flight can be diverted.

Wearing masks have been made a hot trigger point for many because of the leading of political leaders, but it is what is is-wear a mask or you can’t get through the airport much less an airplane. The rules have changed and we’re all in this together-right? Let’s behave like it! IG:The_Real_Twanda_Black FB:Twanda Black

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