WWOZ Radio has hired 35-year public media veteran Beth Arroyo Utterback to lead the station as General Manager, the station announced.
Utterback comes to WWOZ from her position as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at WYES-TV, the city's PBS affiliate. At WYES, she was executive producer of several nationally-distributed music programs as well as the station's beloved series of local history documentaries and nationally-broadcast cooking shows.
“Beth’s keen sense of understanding of our community and deep well of experience overseeing station programming, including producing successful series with New Orleans favorites such as the Marsalis family, Louis Armstrong, Preservation Hall, and Chefs Paul Prudhomme and John Besh, not to mention community partnerships with the National WWII Museum, the Ashé Cultural Arts Center and others, made it abundantly clear that she was the right choice for this role," said Deborah Harkins, president of WWOZ’s board.
WWOZ, a listener-supported community radio station and internet broadcaster founded in 1980, is owned by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. Its program hosts, who broadcast shows of all musical genres, are volunteers who immerse themselves in the music they play.
“WWOZ is a very special beacon of all that is true about New Orleans,” said Judge Sidney Cates, chair of the WWOZ hiring committee. “Our focus, of course, is music but it is also our mission to reflect and support the culture of New Orleans. We are fortunate to have found someone who not only gets that but also lives and breathes it, with deep family roots in the city and a track record of being a successful emissary to the world. "
"I am thrilled to be entrusted with this incredible opportunity to lead WWOZ as we expand our mission to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage," Utterback said. "The world loves WWOZ, one of the top 5 radio stations in the country or, if you believed Andy Warhol as I do, the very best. I leave WYES in good hands after many wonderful years, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in the culture of WWOZ and its first class team.”
WWOZ was named one of the top five stations in the country by Rolling Stone Magazine and was also called the greatest radio station in the world by Andy Warhol. Esquire magazine also named WWOZ Internet Radio Station of the Year.
Utterback will assume her new position on June 1.