This week’s featured media mogul is none other than Zayna Allen. If Ryan Secrest had an African-American daughter it would be Allen! As the host and producer over at BoldTV, host of hit All Jersey Radio show “Tea Time w/ Zayna The Brand”, associate producer for the Social Push Club and correspondent for Black Girls in Media Inc., Zayna isn’t just a brand she’s THE BRAND! If that wasn’t enough you may also recognize Zayna from her cover of BlackGirlsRock! 2019.
You are a multi-talented individual dipping and dapping in a bunch of other expressive fields. So, what was it about journalism or media that piqued your interest?
“Ryan Seacrest was my inspiration. I remember seeing him on American Idol when I was younger and I thought he was cool but as time went on, I kept seeing him more and more on different shows and I would see his name at the end of certain shows with producer credits. I wanted to be like him. I wanted to be him. People overlook Ryan Seacrest and his success because they only give him credit for being an American Idol host. Do some research, you’d be surprised.”
How did you get your start in the media field? Did you study communications in college? Internships? Hobby writing?
“I attended the illustrious Delaware State University where I majored in TV, radio and film production. From there I interned at WBOC TV in Salisbury, Maryland in their newsroom. When I graduated college in 2016 I had about a 7-month time frame where I didn’t work in media at all but the following January I was a speaker for a Martin Luther King Day celebration in my town and the producer who was filming the event asked me to join his team as an on-air host for different events and that’s where I truly got my start.”
Tell us about your platform. What’s your mission/goals? Who’s your audience?
“Zayna The Brand is all that I am. I do not have just one title. People mostly see me as just an on-air correspondent, but there’s so much more to me. I have modeled, I am a producer, director, production manager, and radio show host. My goal for Zayna The Brand is to end up owning a production company under the name. I want to be able to create content for women of color and hire women of color. I have seen so many companies that have a target audience but have not a single individual from that demographic working for them. I want to change that, I want women of color to have a voice and to be the voice.”
So far throughout your career, what has been your proudest personal media moment?
“My proudest personal media moment so far was definitely when I was able to secure the opportunity of being a red carpet correspondent for BET’s Black Girls Rock 2019! It was an amazing experience and honestly, I am so grateful for the amount of black girl magic I was able to soak up that night.”
What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs looking to enter the field?
“DO NOT GIVE UP! It is hard! Especially when you are trying to do this completely on your own. I was the only person in my circle of friends and in my family wanting to pursue media so I didn’t have anybody introduce me to anyone or was able to get a job for me because they knew someone. I had to build relationships for myself and it is a very tedious and trying process but I promise it is worth it in the end! All your hard work will definitely pay off. Just keep going.”
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