Jennifer Cohen’s voice is beamed across the Verde Valley airwaves on five radio stations as producer for Yavapai Broadcasting News. She also appears on television on four government-access-channel television shows on cable – the Verde Valley Experience, County Wide, A Perfect Home and Health and Wellness - all part of her job at Yavapai Broadcasting.
As a volunteer, you may have seen Cohen as co-master of ceremony of the annual Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce dinner.
She also MCs the Verde Valley Sanctuary gala, women’s shelters and hosts the Cottonwood Christmas Parade, the Sedona St. Patrick’s Parade and the Fort Verde Days Parade. She is also a single mother of a 13-year-old girl.
1. How do you do it? How do you find the time to do all this?
I don’t sleep. When you enjoy doing something you find time for it.
2. How did you get into journalism?
It was kind of a silly start. I think I was 22 and I called a radio program that we had in Florida and I spoke to the talk show host, and he said to me: ‘Wow you have a real nice voice, do you need a job?’ And I actually I had just quit my job because I didn’t like it. I was managing a very large resort’s banquet facility … He says come in tomorrow at 8. OK. So I drive up the Keys to US One Radio and I walk and he’s like: ‘Hi, how are you doing, sit down, here’s some headphones. Bye.’ And he left. And I was sitting there in front of the board, what do I do here? And then I had a co-host for that show and I ended up running the show for seven years.
3. How did you end up moving to Sedona?
We settled on Sedona because we came here and went ‘oh yeah’ ... Came here for health reasons for my daughter, ending up not doing the B&B thing, bought a business downtown (sold that) … and I have been working at Yavapai Broadcasting for six years.
4. Why do you like living in the Verde Valley?
It’s the most beautiful place in the world. My drive to work is gorgeous. I get everything. I get the rocks, the mountains, the open spaces, the animals, the wildlife. What’s not to love? I live up in Sedona … And everyone in here (at work) is so nice.
5 Why are you excited about working for radio? You said you had spent a night in the newsroom during the recent snowstorm to stay on top of things.
I just like disseminating information to people. I just think it’s so cool. Here’s something I think you need to know … That feels good to say to people, that I-17 is closed at Black Canyon City, don’t go there. Some stories are great and some stories aren’t. I was always hesitant to get into news. In general, I love a good dog-saving story. It’s never boring, which is what I like. People go: ‘why don’t you go to Phoenix and go to work for one of the big guys.’ I don’t want to read that stuff. I won’t sleep at night. That stuff sticks to me. I don’t want to be submerged in that all day long. I don’t have a TV and I don’t listen to the news. I use the Internet.
6 Can you point out any of your television interviews that stand out in your memory?
Wow there have been a lot over the last six years, but there was a couple of months when all my guests would cry, and we’d be crying, oh and this is not what the show is about. Really getting into personal stories is really great. People who are passionate about their causes. Anytime we are talking about kids, usually I get choked up. And of course having animals in the studio, you know, if I’m like wearing a snake around my neck, and there’s a hedge-hog at my feet, and this lady has an owl, I think that’s awesome.