Evan Brown’s career path was different than he expected but says WOUB still helped him achieve his dream
When Evan Brown came to Ohio University in 1976, his dream job looked a little different than how his career played out. But Brown says he is now living his dream thanks to Ohio University and WOUB.
“In eighth or ninth grade I thought I wanted to be a sports broadcaster,” said Brown. “Growing up right outside of Dayton, Ohio, for some reason I always wanted to go to Ohio University. So, the fact that it had a great communication program was perfect. But it wasn’t long until I realized that being a sportscaster was not my future.”
Brown got involved working at ACRN and WOUB pretty quickly after arriving on campus. And it wasn’t too long before his career focus changed.
“My freshman year roommate was Rich Rarey, who helped get me involved at WOUB,” said Brown. “I realized that my dream of being a sportscaster was in my heart, but I wasn’t very good at it. There were people I was working with at WOUB who were good, and I just wasn’t.”
Brown decided to move in a different direction. He knew he still wanted to work in media, so he majored in radio and television administration management, while continuing to work at WOUB learning the on-air side of the business.
“I did a lot of work on WOUB AM. I was on-air hosting the news and information service programming and playing commentaries from WOUB’s John Ray,” said Brown. “I also hosted some music programming.”
After graduation, Brown got his first job in media sales at WKAZ, an AM radio station in Charleston, West Virginia. He also eventually used the production skills he learned at WOUB to work behind the scenes at a Charleston TV station. But Brown found his way back to media sales.
“It wasn’t long until I took a job in Toledo and then after that I moved to Florida to be a sales manager at a radio station,” said Brown. “I also worked in TV sales, magazine sales and direct mail. I bounced around selling advertising for quite a while.”
At one point, due to the sale of the radio station he was working for, Brown found himself out of work and he was offered a job as a media planning assistant at an advertising agency.
“It was a career reset,” said Brown. “But I knew I could do the job. I’d sold radio. I’d sold TV. I’d sold magazines. I knew how everything went together, and I knew I could build a solid media advertising plan for the agency’s clients. It turned out to be a pretty good move.”
Early in Brown’s media planning career, he had the opportunity to help the Florida Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) figure out how to utilize this new thing called the internet.
“Back then, if people wanted to travel somewhere on a vacation, they would reach out to the convention and visitor’s bureau and request a travel booklet to be mailed to them, so they could plan their trip and activities,” said Brown. “With the increased use of the internet, the Florida CVB’s booklet requests fell off sharply and they weren’t sure what to do. I was responsible for developing an all-digital media plan for the Florida CVB. After doing that, I realized that digital media planning was where I wanted to focus my attention.”
From that point on, Brown worked his way up as a digital media planner, helping large companies map out their advertising strategies. He moved back to central Ohio and got a position planning and buying for companies like Wendy’s and Owens Corning and working with organizations like Ohio State University. Brown’s career eventually took him to Pennsylvania and then New York where he continued to work his way up the ladder.
“In just 12 years in media planning, I moved from a media planning assistant to a vice president/media director,” said Brown. “It’s been a great career.”
A career that Brown said got a strong foundation at WOUB.
“What WOUB did for me was to make me realize you had to be versatile. It taught me versatility,” said Brown. “And I enjoyed staying in touch with people and being around people in the business. Just being around the professionals and students helped me learn and grow, which was so important.”