by Celena Mack Velez ('03)
From on-air contests and Web design to scheduling talent, the classic rock station WARW 94.7 FM-The Arrow promotions director keeps it all organized behind the scenes.
Though you could say that every member of a radio program is a "behind-the-scenes" staffer, Kelly Brooke Tober ('01) truly enjoys her work backing up the anonymous faces of on-air talent at Washington, D.C.'s, WARW 94.7 FM-The Arrow.
The classic rock station's promotions director, Tober spends her days organizing and directing station events, scheduling talent appearances, supervising part-time staff, updating the station's Web site and gathering information for on-air announcements. She's also in charge of on-air and online contests.
Tober joined 94.7 in July 2003 after leaving a jazzy hangout as promotions coordinator for WJZW Smooth Jazz 105.9. Tober says her role at 94.7 includes many of the tasks she performed at WJZW, but since she's a classic rock fan, she now has a few more amps in her step. "The energy level is definitely more intense at The Arrow," she says. "There's more stress, but also more energy. I have more responsibility and a larger role in marketing and programming decisions. There's also more opportunity for personal growth, and 94.7 has always been my favorite station. I used to tape it on my breaks from JMU and take it back to the 'Burg."
Tober majored in media arts with a concentration in electronic journalism and minored in speech communication. "Studying journalism has definitely been beneficial to me when dealing with the on-air jocks because I have a better understanding of what kind of stuff they're dealing with on a daily basis, whether it's technical or news related," says Tober. "Even though I focused on television journalism as a student, I decided it was too much pressure. It's really hard to break into, and I'm happy doing something that involves people skills, not just talking to a screen. I may stay in marketing and management or go into sales. I may even go on air. With radio, there are so many options. I've been more involved in the production process at 94.7, and sometimes they include me in commercials. That's always fun."
The most challenging part of Tober's job is "keeping everyone happy and multi-tasking," she says. Her department interacts with every other part of the radio station. "We handle the needs of the sales, programming and traffic departments, along with the jocks and accounting. We also act as the customer service department, handling all listener inquiries concerning events, concerts and contests," she explains.
Tober began her multi-task training at JMU. She served as a resident adviser and a member of Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity, serving as president her senior year. She was also a member of the SGA, Madison Mediators, Madison Dance Club, The Breeze, JMU Residence Hall Association, Golden Key National Honor Society and Mortar Board National Honor Society.
Even today, Tober's schedule at The Arrow doesn't leave much time for hobbies; but she says that she finds time to participate in a billiards league and enjoys cycling. "I'm at the right place now where I feel very pleased with my job," she says. "I have great friends, family and goals -- what more could I ask for?"