WRVS-FM Hosts ‘Around the Town with Hez Brown’
Hezekiah Brown, far left, interviews, left to right, Katherine Rogers and Janet Stone-Nielson of Albemarle Hopeline for his WRVS-FM, 89.9, show, “Around the Town with Hez Brown,” airing the first and third Wednesday of the month, 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
In the radio station inside Williams Hall, on the campus of Elizabeth City State University, Hezekiah Brown leans into the microphone and gazes at his two guests. His voice is calm, confident and practiced. It is the voice of one of WVRS-FM 89.9’s newest programs, “Around the Town with Hez Brown.”
Brown is an Elizabeth City transplant who spent most of his career in Long Island, New York as a federal mediator. When he moved to the area after retirement, he quickly became involved in civic life, which eventually led him to this idea of a radio show.
“Obviously in Elizabeth City you don’t have a television station to get the news out,” Brown said in an interview last month. “But I think if we do specific programs around specific people, we can get valuable information.”
At its core, Brown’s show is about people. But he’s choosing people across the community to speak about specific issues. And these issues, he says, are what affect lives on a daily basis.
“It (the show) just came up because I thought that a lot of extremely good information was not getting out to the public,” he said.
So the show is, he says, a community service. And that fits with the mission of WVRS, “Your Community Voice.”
Brown’s take on the community and the comings and goings of its people is based, he says on his active civic life. His life, he explains, is preparation for each show.
“I don’t do much to prepare for a show because I have been around the community for a while, and I read a lot. I go to meetings and talk to people,” he said.
On this particular day, Brown’s guests are Katherine Rogers and Janet Stone-Nielson, from Albemarle Hopeline, the region’s domestic violence shelter and counseling center. The two women are speaking with Brown about the services they provide and, amidst the rising tide of the #metoo movement, what women can do to not only report sexual harassment and abuse, but also avoid it in their lives.
Guests such as Rogers and Stone-Nielson are more than willing to take time out of their schedules to speak with Brown. He says the response to his show has been very positive.
“Out of all of the people I have asked to be on the show, no one has said no,” he said.
Aside from Rogers and Stone-Nielson, Brown has had interviews with the superintendent of the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Schools, Dr. Larry Cartner, Christ Episcopal Church rector, The Rev. Chip Broadfoot, and Elizabeth City’s new mayor, Bettie Parker, to name just a few. Brown pre-tapes his shows and is developing a backlog of shows, constantly preparing for new guests. At the time of the interview with Brown, he counted nine shows that had been prerecorded, and several of those had aired on WRVS.
He says the guests, such as Dr. Cartner, have been very forthcoming and have served to bring a great deal of valuable information to the community.
“He did a good job explaining his efforts to lead the schools,” said Brown of Cartner. “There is a lot of bad information out there about the district. I think he’s doing a great job.”
Brown’s show airs on WRVS for 30 minutes, 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., the first and third Wednesday of the month. For more information about the show, and other programming available on the ECSU public radio station, you can go to http://www.ecsu.edu/about/communications-and-marketing/radio-and-tv-service/radio-schedule.html.
Elizabeth City State University’s WRVS is a public-supported, National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), and African-American Public Radio Consortium (AAPRC) affiliate station. The programming is a combination of local and syndicated shows, with much of the local broadcasting and production done by ECSU students.