Heather Cohen Q & A:
What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
I have so many fond memories, and I am so grateful to the wonderful faculty and staff in The Herbert School of Communication. They gave me the foundation necessary to do what I do today. Election night coverage at WRHU and Forensic Team competitions are some of my fondest memories. And I will add that in my first few days as a freshman, I attended a Hillel ice cream social. There I met my future husband, Michael. It was clearly a life-altering evening.
What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what is the most valuable thing you learned there?
I began as a board operator in the engineering department at WOR Radio the day after I graduated. A few months into the job, I became the producer of “The Joan Hamburg Show.” I held that position for more than seven years and then oversaw programming at the station. One of the key things that I learned is the importance of networking. As a producer, my contacts were my life. The more people I knew, the more relationships I developed, the easier to book the right guest for the show or station. That plays into all facets of life and has certainly helped me in my career to this day.
How did you come to work in the industry?
I started in radio at 14 at my high school station. I then met Bruce Avery in the basement of Memorial Hall in September of my freshman year. Bruce is still the general manager of WRHU. After going through the station’s training program, I joined as a staff member and held several managerial positions, including station manager. I had the pleasure of interning for the WOR 710AM morning show (with John Gambling) in my senior year. That began nearly a decade at the station before leaving to run programming for a network. I then joined The Weiss Agency as a broadcast talent agent. I just celebrated my sixth anniversary with my amazing boss, Eric Weiss. Eric is in LA, and I am based in NY.
What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
Do well academically but be sure to get involved in clubs, organizations and internships. Seek out as many opportunities as possible. This will hone your skills and help shape you into a well-rounded person and future employee.
In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
What is the single most rewarding/exciting experience in your career thus far?
Talkers magazine recently presented me with the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman. Being recognized as part of a unique sisterhood, which includes several of the women I respect the most in broadcasting, has been inspiring. Having my family in attendance at the LA ceremony meant the world to me.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I thoroughly enjoy supporting great talent. As a former programmer, I have a deep passion for the work ethic and passion of a great broadcaster. It is an honor to represent some of the most entertaining and informative people I know. I even have the privilege of representing some of the same personalities I grew up listening to. My biggest thrill is helping to secure a life-changing position for a client. It is the best feeling in the world to know that a client’s life has changed for the better.
Heather Cohen is executive vice president of The Weiss Agency, a broadcast talent agency that represents and develops the careers of many of the industry's most successful local and syndicated personalities.
Heather joined The Weiss Agency directly from GreenStone Media, LLC, where she was vice president, programming. Recruited by GreenStone to develop programming targeting women, Heather oversaw all program content, talent and production. Under her creative leadership, GreenStone received three Gracie Awards from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.
Heather joined GreenStone from New York’s legendary WOR 710AM where she was assistant program director responsible for the station’s local and national on-air content, programs, and production. She also served as executive producer for WOR’s award-winning “The Joan Hamburg Show.”
In 2013 Talkers magazineawarded Heather with the prestigious Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman, also known as the Woman of the Year Award.
Heather is a frequent participant in numerous industry seminars as a moderator and panelist. She consulted Radio & Records on its 2008 Talk Radio Seminar in Washington D.C., and was presented with a 2008 Industry Achievement Award. Heather has been a special consultant to McVay/Cook & Associates on syndicated programming.
Heather is a graduate of Hofstra University and currently serves as president of The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Alumni Association and is a member of The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Advisory Council. She has served on the America’s Voices in Israel Advisory Board. Heather is a judge for the Gracie Awards and is a member of the Alliance for Women in Media. She has mentored New York City school children as part of NYC’s Principal for a Day program and has been a Safe Space committee member. Heather judged the Tony Awards for eight seasons. She appeared on “The Jane Pauley Show” and was featured on the cover of the April 18, 2006 issue of Woman’s World magazine.
The Weiss Agency has offices in New York and Los Angeles. Heather is based at the company’s New York location.