As part of our blog series featuring prominent news reporters and radio hosts in the industry, we are excited to highlight Twanda Black, Public Affairs Director at KISS 104.1 in Atlanta, and host of two weekly radio shows, Business in the Black and Good News Gospel.
Twanda Black initially went to school to become a Public Relations/Advertising executive, but as it turned out, she was made for radio. “One Sunday, I narrated a program and a woman asked me if I had ever considered being an announcer and the seed was planted!” She went on to graduate from Berry College with a degree in Communications, with an emphasis in Public Relations. She used PR skills like writing and oral communication to land her first job in radio. “One (of many) memories is working at a Florida station (my first full-time job) in the middle of an orange grove! I drove on a sand road to get to the trailer I worked in – it was crazy! I could write a book about the people, places and things I’ve experienced in this business!”
“It’s a strange thing – even with the whirlwind of the internet, people still love the intimacy of radio,” she says. “Touching our local and global community is so important to us. Making our metro Atlanta community feel important and providing pertinent information that concerns everyone no matter what part of the world you’re in is our goal!” As the station’s public affairs director and a host, Black’s day-to-day varies. She gets to talk to people from all walks of life: CEOs, authors, grassroots organizations, non-profits and more. Whether it’s for an interview to air on her radio show, or to connect with community organizations to be part of their events, she says there is always a responsibility to the community.
Explaining the focus of her two weekly shows, Black says, “Business in the Black began 20 years ago as The Atlanta Magazine, same format-different name. I interview people who address issues locally and nationally such as Arts, Culture, Race Relations, Community, Health, Child/Teen Issues, Spirituality, Business, Technology, The Green Movement and more.” Business in the Black airs every Sunday between 5:00 and 7:00 a.m. Eastern time, with between six and ten different segments. “I can’t begin to tell you how this job has enriched my life…new people every day with some sort of information to share – it’s awesome!”
“Good News Gospel is simply the Good News of Jesus Christ in song! I play old, new and in between gospel and I love it- it’s the highlight of my work week,” Black says. In the future she plans to incorporate video more in the production of her shows.
She attributes learning a great work ethic from her grandparents, with whom she spent the summers in the small town of Crescent City, Florida. Her grandfather taught her about business – since he owned his own – and her grandmother taught her how to take care of “home and heart.” “Mother” can also be added to the list of Twanda’s descriptions, raising two sons who are now 24 and 26 years old. “Being a single mother was difficult but so rewarding, not only was I raising great young men to be a blessing in society, I was learning patience, perseverance and most of all how to love unconditionally!”
When she’s not on the radio, Twanda enjoys reading, photography, spending time with her family and husband, and exploring Atlanta. “I love that there is something for everyone in Atlanta! Don’t care what you do, what color or culture, there is something here for you and usually in abundance,” she says. “I love that we get to experience every season of weather! Atlanta is a well-rounded city filled with interesting nationalities!” And just as the woman who approached her that Sunday while in college inspired her to have a career in radio, Twanda Black has the unique privilege of inspiring the Atlanta community every Sunday morning over the airwaves.
Want to learn more about interesting hosts like Twanda Black? Stay tuned…and also be sure to check out our conversation with SiriusXM’s Pete Dominick.