Newark’s Jazz Station picks fourth President in its 35-year history
The Board of Trustees of Newark Public Radio, Inc., licensor of the nationally regarded NPR jazz public radio station WBGO, has promoted Amy Niles, 54, to be its President and CEO. Her appointment was announced by Stephen N. Ifshin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
“Amy has the leadership skills and dedication to guide WBGO and fulfill its mission as the global voice of jazz,” said Ifshin.
Niles joined the station in 2006 as Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. Throughout her tenure she has overseen several departments, including Development, Membership, Marketing and Programming. Last year, the Board asked Niles to take the reins as Acting President/CEO. During her time as acting president, the station showed its highest audience numbers in history with membership exceeding 17,000. Under her leadership, the station has strengthened the WBGO brand, initiated financial and programmatic joint ventures with corporations, foundations and non-profits including NJPAC, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Gateway Center Newark. WBGO has also developed strategic partnerships with educational and cultural venues throughout New York and New Jersey. Ms. Niles oversees strategic planning efforts including introduction of new media (web, podcasts, streaming, mobile) and digitization; expansion of travel and special events, and the development of new nationally syndicated programming in partnership with NPR. She was recently appointed to Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s transition team for Arts and Culture.
“In making that temporary appointment permanent,” Ifshin said, “the Board affirmed Amy’s ability to lead WBGO and its staff into a new era of accomplishment and success.”
As President and CEO, Niles is responsible for a $5.5 million operating budget and manages a staff of about 50 and a volunteer force of hundreds.
Retiring President Cephas Bowles said “I look forward to supporting the next generation of WBGO leadership to move the station to new levels of service to the world.”
Niles acknowledged Bowles’ decades of service. “Cephas has been a tireless advocate for jazz and for this station,” she said.
Under Niles, Ifshin said, the station will continue to seek ways to innovate and to engage and expand audiences. “Amy is committed to boosting WBGO’s reputation as the preeminent public radio station in the jazz community.”
“I’m incredibly enthusiastic about the future,” said Niles. “I know that as WBGO’s reach and influence grows, we will continue to undertake and achieve great things.”