This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on November 26, 2019
She is known unapologetically as “Ayeeedubb” on the air. Alexandra Wurst is 26-years-old and hosts her own morning show in Albany, NY. A position she earned less than five months after being hired to do nights there on WAJZ (Jamz 96.3). She started out in radio interning at a Hip Hop station while pursuing her Bachelor’s in Human Services at Wingate University. After her internship and graduation, she was offered the opportunity to be on air at Charlotte’s New Hip Hop Station, Streets 103.3.
Ayeeedubb’s talent, drive and passion for radio as well as her memorable moments on Instagram, Snapchat and Vine helped her gain followers from all over the world. A few years later she was offered her first full time job doing nights at Live 99.9 in South Bend, IN. After a year there, she was ready for something bigger, which lead to her current position now.
When I first met Alex, I could tell there was something there. I knew that even though she was somewhat new to radio, she would figure it out fast. Alex is a “spirit animal” and more importantly, a “student of radio,” literally. She’s not afraid to take direction, she wants to learn, and is not afraid to ask questions. We talked in depth about whether or not her college education prepared her for a career in radio. Her experience was similar to mine and there are years and years of time between our graduations. The courses are outdated and none of the instructors have actual in house radio experience. Perhaps this is one of the reasons there are so few women on air or in programming today. According to Jacobs Media, 1 in 4 personalities are women and only 11% of women are program directors (a statistic which hasn’t changed in 12 years).
“Personally,” according to Alex, “The real opportunity my college education gave me was an opportunity to get an internship at a radio station. I don’t think universities have a lot of hands on knowledge about radio broadcasting today, whether you’re studying to be a personality or a manager.”
Sounds like a great opportunity for institutions and broadcast schools to re-evaluate their curriculums and make a serious effort to update them. Another great opportunity to incentivize “all genders” to get into radio.
Like most young women in the business, Alex is constantly watching and learning from her mentors and always looking for more inspiration from women in the field.
“I have a wide range of different influences that have impacted me during my career. I’ve really got to give it up to Ya Girl Nikki on Power 98 in Charlotte. She’s been really helpful to me in my career. I love what she does on air and in the community. She’s just an amazing talent, woman, mother, and daughter…Legit Everything! I also look up to other female talent who do a lot more than just an on air shift. Like Nessa from Hot 97 and even actress and personality Liza Koshy. Her work ethic and creativity are amazing.”
When Alex first started in radio, she experienced a little bit of pushback because of her gender.
- Did you realize it would be a challenging field for women, and if so, how did you approach that?
“I learned early on that it was a male dominated business when I worked for a mom and pop. It was a great opportunity to get my foot in the door and start learning, but I definitely had some challenges to overcome. I spent a lot of time and effort doing work for someone else who took the credit and I missed out on a few opportunities because of “the club.” I also had an opportunity to do an online radio show but was told I absolutely HAD to change my on air name to something more “pop friendly.” I have never been asked to do that before, nor have I done it and I’ve been fine so far.” According to Alex, “My strategy for overcoming the gender challenge was to simply ignore ‘the chatter.’ Just keep my head down and stay focused. It was tough in the beginning. Words can tear you down, but you have to stay confident in your own craft. And as long as you are, you’ll get over the other stuff.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this to talent,” Don’t be too hard on yourself.” That’s the first thing Alex said when I asked her…
- …What advice she would give to newcomers in the business?
“There are going to be days when you think you just suck and somedays when you feel you’re on top of your game and are killing it. Learn from your mistakes, celebrate your wins and find someone in the business you can confide in. A positive influence goes a long way. I’ve had certain situations happen to me in radio that left me frustrated and confused. I was able to talk to someone who had experienced similar circumstances and it helped to ease my mind.”
Alex is taking it one day at a time as she adjusts to her new morning schedule. New job, new city…
- …What’s next for Ayeeedubb?
“I am currently just trying to do really well with this solo morning show on Jamz 96.3 and bring that back to the number one morning show in our target demo. That means I am constantly thinking of segments and topics to do for the show. I eventually want to get out in to the community and the schools in Albany and make an impact in that department too. My other focus is a Group Chat Podcast with more independent artist interviews outside of the station norm where they have a platform to be heard on and I have an opportunity to expand my creative brand.”
Alex can be heard @jamz963.com weekday mornings from 6a to 10a.
Follow her on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @ayeeedubb