A Female Voice on Satellite Radio: Shawna Renee Is Breaking Barriers In the On-Air Boys Club
Welcome to another “Behind the Click” profile! We’ve looked at many sides of tech thus far in the journey, but today we’re going to add satellite to the mix. That’s right, satellite, as in radio. Thanks to this type of technology, we’ve been able to expand radio options and add more voices of color to the mix.
Shawna Renee is a pioneer in recognizing that the satellite technology would change the face of radio. She’s been working in this space for 15 years and now owns her own multimedia company entitled Cocoa Mode Media. Find out why Renee has been selected as one of the “Entrepreneurs to Watch” by the Minority Media and Telecom Council. She recently came up on my radar and wanted to share her insight with you.
Current Occupation: Host, Cocoa Mode on SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Favorite website: FabLife101.com
Favorite read: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Recent read: Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery by Bell Hooks
2013′s Ultimate Goal: I have two goals. 1. To complete my book. 2. To expand the Cocoa Mode brand to include a series of workshops and retreats nationwide, designed to inspire and empower women to create extraordinary lives for themselves and their families.
Quote Governing Your Mission or a Quote that Inspires You: “Pursue the things you love doing, and do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you. All other tangible rewards will come as a result.” –Maya Angelou
Twitter handle: @shawnareneelive
Madame Noire: So where are you from originally? How did you come to choose Howard University?
Shawna Renee: I was born and raised in Detroit. I knew Howard had an excellent communications department and I was certain that attending a prestigious HBCU would give me the training and the confidence I needed to succeed. It was by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
MN: It seems radio was your thing from the jump. Did you find it difficult to break into it, initially?
SR: My mother, father, and stepfather work in media related jobs, so it was pretty easy for me to break into the business. What was difficult was convincing people that I deserved to be here.
MN: So I learned that you worked with terrestrial radio in Baltimore for a time and then made the move to satellite radio. How did you get involved with SiriusXM Satellite. What is a typical day like there for you?
SR: I started working with XM Satellite Radio in 2002 as a program director. At that time, I was employed by a company called Wordspace Satellite Radio and we had an agreement with XM to produce four music channels. I was in charge of the World Music channel called Worldzone. In 2006, while on maternity leave from Worldspace, I “birthed” Cocoa Mode and approached The Power, XM’s African American talk channel, about carrying the show and they agreed. I’ve also worked as a producer for “The Joe Madison Show” and written, produced and hosted a number of specialty programs for SiriusXM as well.
There is no such thing as a typical day for me. My days range from spending four to five hours surfing the Web looking for interesting stories and show ideas, to writing scripts, promos, and blogs posts. I can also be found pre-recording interviews for the show.