Cincinnati Native Steve Williams Named CEO for New Jersey's WBGO-FM

Nov 4, 2020

Cincinnati native Steve Williams, who got his start at WEBN-FM and WAIF-FM, has been named president and CEO of WBGO-FM, NPR's flagship jazz station.

Steve Williams was a consultant for WBGO-FM before being named president and CEO.
Credit Courtesy WBGO

Wiliams, WBGOs former program director (2015-2018), has been serving as the programming consultant for the station, which broadcasts from a transmitter in Manhattan's Times Square.  WBGO brands itself as "Jazz Public Radio from the Jazz capital of the world, New York City."

Williams' LinkedIn profile lists his first jobs as an announcer at WEBN-FM 1976-77, and an announcer/producer/technician at all-volunteer WAIF 1976-1980.

For 40 years, he has worked as a program director, music director, operations director, senior manager, producer, engineer or jazz format manager in New York City, Detroit, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Sacramento and Ann Arbor, and for SiriusXM.

A jazz aficionado, Williams is a "nationally recognized authority on best practices for jazz radio programming, research, marketing, and administration and content production," according to the story at He starts Jan. 4.

"I welcome this tremendous opportunity to continue and strengthen WBGO’s commitment to promoting the art form of jazz and ensuring diversity in both its workforce and audience,” Williams said in the station announcement.

Williams will replace Bob Ottenhoff, who is serving as interim CEO. Ottenhoff stepped into the interim role in January after Amy Niles resigned amid complaints of racial discrimination at the station, Current reported.