I learned the power of innovative radio at an early age. I remember sitting in my grandparents’ living room at eight years old, turning the dial of my small radio across Oldies, Top 40, and Soft Rock stations. On a good day, I would hear “that one song” sticking out, almost abrasively, amongst the homogeny and endless commercials. I would hear every note, each beat, and stay tuned to hear the DJ to tell me the name of the song, the artist… giving me hope there are sounds out there that can touch my soul. It is this memory of finding gems along the airwaves that serves as my north star in my roles as a fan, a programmer, and now, General Manager (GM) for Takoma Radio.
Every day, Takoma Radio is advancing closer to our mission of building community through accessible, inclusive, and diverse media. Along with founder Marika Partridge, Program Director Désirée Bayonet, Development Director Olivia Randolph, and our teams of volunteers and on-air talent, we are planning projects that welcome young and underserved voices, improve our current shows and practices, and build audiences through the web, events, and outreach. My hope is that these efforts will also provide new memories and inspiration for our communities.
All of this takes collaboration. So, if I may be so bold after only a short time in the GM’s seat, I have three requests of our community:
1. Listen: Try listening to WOWD at different times. I think you’ll be impressed with the exciting range of programming. From music to talk, we have programming that’s hard to find elsewhere.
2. Connect: Subscribe to our newsletter. Give the WOWD DJs and public affairs hosts your feedback through our website feedback form and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Comment on the hosts own social media accounts. Or, even better, visit the station and tell them in person. Meantime, we’re working to improve ways to help listeners contact and connect with the on-air hosts in real time.
3. Get involved: We love our volunteers. We are amazed at the DJ talent and know there are more budding DJs out there. And, of course, we can’t thank you enough for the sponsorships and donations that help us continue to bring you a steady feast of the metro area’s most organic, diverse community radio programming.
Our community support, our recognitions, and our first-year achievements point to great things as we start our second year on air! So, please keep posted for our latest updates and know that all of you are invited to take part. Takoma Radio is here for you.
—Hugo Nájera, General Manager
Hugo Nájera, a longtime community radio producer, joined Takoma Radio at our launch in July 2016 as co-host of the bi-weekly Soul Sonic Show. He became General Manager in June 2017. Hugo has deep experience in community radio and nonprofit program management and comes to Takoma Radio from Excelencia in Education, a higher-education advocacy organization focused on Latino college completion. Hugo will oversee WOWD operations, including FCC compliance, outreach, community partnerships, training, finances, volunteer management, and more.