Please introduce yourself and tell the readers a little about yourself?
Much Love to all your readers. I am LaDawn Black and I am a media personality, author, and relationship expert based out of DC/Baltimore.
How did you gain interest in radio hosting? Do you remember the specific moment that attracted you?
I LOVED the radio growing up and at that time the personalities on WPGC and WKYS were huge and of course, you had WHUR for nights. I really liked the interaction with the callers and the way the personalities always knew the latest information and the hottest celebrities. I have a true love for radio and many years later when it seemed that everyone was saying I had a voice for it – I was like – Let’s Give It a Go!
Growing up, who were your idols on the radio?
Huge fan of Donnie Simpson, Albee Dee, Michelle Wright, Angela Stribling, Olivia Fox, and of course Wendy Williams.
There are a lot of different personalities/styles in the business. How would you describe your hosting style?
I like conversation and I am great with phones. My strengths are that I can take any topic and make it relatable, and I can get you to tell me your deepest secrets. I share a lot about my life so that you know that I am right there with you in the worlds of work, family, kids, relationships, and trying to live your best life. I do very old-school conversational radio and I balance it out with having the same type of dialog virtually via social media. I think I am good at striking a balance between the pacing that stations want you to have as far as not talking too much and old-school radio – still talking enough so that listeners feel connected.
What are common problems you face as a radio host? What would you say you love most about your job?
None, radio is the best and easiest job I have ever had.
Love the most – My listeners – making them laugh and feel.
Who are some of the biggest people you have interviewed as well as favorite interviews?
My favorite interviews were with El Debarge, Kandi Burris, Kenny Lattimore, and Karrine Steffans, and all for pretty much the same reasons. They were all open and fun and they played along with the sexiness of the show. You can’t come to the biggest relationship show in the region and not talk about your relationship experiences. They were great!
Being a woman in the media industry, have you had any major challenges? If so, can you tell us any? (If you’re comfortable sharing of course.)
Honestly, none. Look, I know that this is a male-driven industry and there may have been times where male personalities with no books, TV shows or national platforms were given syndicated shows and I was like … huh? There is something to men moving a lot faster in the industry often with a lot less going for them.
However, I learned early on to simply move differently to get what I want. I have been tremendously fortunate to have a few industry-heavy hitters as mentors and they make sure I am in the right rooms and my name is mentioned in the right circles so that I keep moving in the industry.
Plus, networking and courting positions are key. Don’t burn bridges and be gracious when jobs end. I am not a man, but I learned quickly that they get opportunities often because people simply know them. As a woman-focused, networking has been the key for me.
I remember hearing you at night all the time on the “The Love Zone” via 92.3? Any particular moments that stand out to you? What would you say was your favorite segment you’ve had on the air?
Loved being on 92Q nights! Would go back if they ever asked. There are so many great moments – from the midnight kiss being filled with jail shoutouts, kids calling in to answer the questions trying to sound older, getting artists to talk about their sexcapades and of course, the sex session mixes with Kenny K. The show was a vibe for all ages! Being able to talk raw about love issues and connect with Baltimore … truly a great time in my career!
Describe the moment when you found out your radio show was ranked #1 during the late night. Also what other accolades have you received that you’re proud of?
Literally, the show was #1 within a month of me taking over and held that spot for 10 years. Nothing came close in Baltimore or DC as far as the nightly numbers. I am also proud that Baltimore Magazine embraced the show and featured it often because it showed that it wasn’t just an “urban” show, and EVERYONE was listening. Show topics were picked up for local and national media and often because area TV producers were listening at night, I was called on during the day to talk relationships and that was a HUGE look for the station and my personal brand.
You worked 10 years for 92.3 Q, three years for Magic 95.9, and now you’re in New York working for WBLS 107.3. Congratulations on your long successful career! What has this journey been like?
The journey has been AMAZING! Radio was such a fluke for me and I have been lucky to really grow in it and thrive. Getting on the Q was a HUGE lucky break in that the Program Director at the time hired someone with no radio experience, but with a great voice and relationship take to host a show. No one saw that coming and it took me a while to get the mechanics of radio right, but he was patient and the show soared. The move to Magic wasn’t necessarily one that I wanted, but stations have their reasons for shifting personalities around, and while I couldn’t be as naughty at 7p as I was at 10p that run was good for me too. WBLS is a job I courted for ELEVEN years.
Networking and meeting people is important and literally, I met the man running the station when he was running a station in DC and stayed in contact with him for years before even having an opportunity. It was stopping in when I was in NY to meet briefly and meeting his team members, sending airchecks and adjusting based on the advice given and making sure that he knew what I was doing outside of radio that would make me an even stronger potential personality. It took eleven years, but when a spot was available, I was up for it.
My first few months in NY were hard because I was coming from full-time star status in Baltimore to NY where no one knew me, and no one cared. I had to step up my radio skills, my pacing,s and make peace with being the new and unknown weekend chick … had to check my ego. Four years later I am finally feeling recognized in the market, and I am making an impact!
You’re a media personality, author, and relationship expert. Can you please explain how you became an author and a relationship expert? Were these always interests and in your plan?
I always loved writing and I of course wanted to write the next great American novel. Well, that is hard, and my husband actually suggested that I write a relationship guide because my friends found my love advice funny and helpful … a little book to get me started. I love talking about relationships and sex and I love sharing my crazy experiences. That little book on the ways to land a man was self-published and moved 10,000 copies in 6 months.
My education and professional backgrounds are marketing and public relations so I was sending the book everywhere for potential interviews. I sent a copy to 92Q and the night host at the time Stretch reached out and booked me for an interview. The program director heard us together and asked me to come in once a week to do the show with Stretch and then eventually once Stretch left I was made host. The radio show led to a three-book deal with Random House and allowed me to move into writing for national publications and TV appearances. It has been an incredible ride!
Do you have any personal favorite books that you’ve written or would say they all are? Also, love stories are very hard to write, where do you usually draw inspiration from? You have a great way of describing details.
I love all my books, but TEASE is my favorite. I like the diversity of the erotic tales. Whatever you are into you can find it in one of the chapters of the book. I really love that the characters are of different ages, have different fetishes and kinks, and really are sort of doing what they want to do intimately.
My inspiration is a crazy mix of my fantasy world, actual experiences, listener stories, and simply what is hot sexually today. Sex is my sport. I love it and study it.
What are your thoughts of relationships now versus how they were when you first started dating?
It is so much different. You can literally hook up with, fall in love with, or have virtual sex with someone from anywhere in the world. Dating online and through apps is amazing. When I was dating you had to rely on who you could meet locally and who your circle knew – very limiting.
Now with social media, DMs, and more, I can connect pretty much with anyone that I have even the slightest interest in. I think options are important in love and allow more of an opportunity to find your fit.
You’re a relationship coach for match.com, essence.com, and blackmeninamerica.com. How were your experiences with that?
I love doing love Q&A. These entities really provided a national platform for me to give love tips and showcase the good and bad in black love. My message has always been that it isn’t as bad out here love wise as some would have you to believe, and these entities really allowed me to get that message out there to the masses.
What is the most common problem you see in relationships?
Lack of communication and growing too comfortable with one another would be my top two. Communication is a hard topic because it isn’t just saying what you want, but how you say it, how often you say it, and is it even reasonable. It also has a degree of listening involved and conflict resolution – if our communication styles aren’t aligned damage can be done.
Couples also grow complacent and too comfortable. Relationships take work and they require passion, attention, and consistency – you can’t drop the ball. So many relationships fizzle out not because there is no love, but more so because there is a lack of interest.
Being a Washington D.C. native what are the differences you noticed in moving to the Baltimore area? How was the adjustment process?
Go ahead and snatch my DC card because I love Baltimore! I grew up in DC and then moved to PG County for high school and lived my after-college years in DC and really have strong DC roots and a connection to the City. However, having lived in Baltimore for seventeen years now and really being grounded in the schools, neighborhoods, the residents, and the artistic community this is home.
Baltimore really doesn’t get the respect on the art scene that it deserves. So much comes from here, is discovered here, is trained here and people don’t know it. No matter where my career takes me next … Baltimore will always be home.
Is there anything you feel you haven’t yet accomplished in your career? If so, what is it?
I want to be full-time in NY. I don’t think anyone would be shocked by that. I would also like to have a TV talk show or be part of a roundtable show like The Talk or The View. Let’s see what happens next!
Any projects we can expect to see from you in the near future?
I am working on my fourth book which will be sexy tips for getting your sexual groove back. Also, I am working on a series of children’s books that will focus on fun and encouraging stories for kids that learn differently.
Who is LaDawn Black outside of the radio station?
She is funny, fun, awkward, a mom, sexy, and trying to keep it all together.
Thanks so much for your time! Last but not least please let the readers know where they can follow you. Also, do you have anyone you want to shout out!
I want to shout out to all my Baltimore and New York listeners that have always supported and encouraged me along with this crazy career of mine.
Feel free to follow me on IG and Twitter at @teasebyladawn, find me on Facebook and ladawnblack.com for everything else.
Much Love Guys