Most of us have heard of Tom Joyner, J. Anthony Brown and Sybil from the Tom Joyner Morning Show; however, less is known about Ms. Nikki Woods, the Senior Producer of the show and wearer of many hats in the Tom Joyner Empire.
I had the pleasure of reconnecting with Ms. Woods last week and wanted to share some of what I learned in our conversation. Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Woods actually started her career in education and even spent some time teaching in Jamaica. While she ultimately learned that teaching and school administration were not her passion, she took her sharpened communication skills to the airwaves.
Along her journey, she made a stop in Boston, as the morning co-host on WILD (a station that is no longer on the air) and eventually landed her first job as the Senior Producer of The Tom Joyner Morning Show. In addition to joining one of the most recognizable brands in America, this allowed Woods an opportunity learn syndicated radio and to experience the inner workings of an organization such as Mr. Tom Joyner’s.
When asked where she thought radio was headed, Woods believes that it is and will continue to be much more organic. “With the surge of social media, listeners are determining, more and more, what is heard over the airwaves”, she says. While it may make life a little more hectic behind the scenes, it certainly makes it more exciting. Woods believes that hitting people in an emotional place, being tuned in to what makes them tick and allowing real time conversations to take place, is what makes great radio.
She notes that one of the most interesting parts of her job is learning from Mr. Tom Joyner himself. “I am always amazed at the
new things I learn from Tom’s vast knowledge on so many subject matters and the experiences he shares”, says Woods. In addition to her own learnings, she is delighted that they can use their platform to bring attention to various issues concerning the Black community.
Given the number of notable personalities that she comes into contact with, I asked Woods, if she had any personal favorites. While she said that there were too many to name, she did note the members of the “First Family” as a few of her favorite people. “The energy they exude and the way they carry themselves shows a side of Black family life that we don’t often get to see” (probably since The Cosby Show and that is tragic, I say), says Woods.
The entire Joyner camp has incredible work ethic, and Woods is no exception. I asked how she attempted to balance her life being the mother of two young boys and working. Woods said that while it’s tough to find balance in her position, children have a way of making you pause and forcing you to enjoy life (as a working mother of two boys, I say “Amen”).
Here’s what Tom Joyner has to say about Ms. Nikki Woods, producer extraordinaire. “Nikki works hard. I set the pace and she came in going stride for stride. No matter how early or how late, she’s working. I’m the Hardest Working Man in Radio, she certainly gets the cape for being the hardest working Senior Producer. I can’t think of anything but good. She’s always there, you can’t beat her anywhere. And she’s up when you need her, she answers every question, every e-mail, every text. I don’t know when she sleeps. I completely trust her judgement and know that she brings her A game every day. You can see (the) result(s) of that in the ratings and listener response to the TJMS on a daily basis.”
Woods attributes her success to hard work and having an amazing team of people around her. One of the philosophies that she lives by is, “always be willing to do what you ask of others”.
A final soundbite on Nikki Woods. In addition to being the senior producer of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show”, she is the author of “Easier Said Than Done”. The Dallas-based Woods is currently working on her second and third novels. You can friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @nikkiwoods.
Monica Cost is the Founder of Evidently Assured brand strategy firm and the Live Your Truth Experience (L.Y.T.E.). She is the Author of the new life changing book on living an authentic life called, “The Things I Used to do to Sneeze!: How to live an authentic life with awesome sensations.” Email her at: [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost. www.monicacost.com.