Ang Santos


Ang Santos began his career in news journalism at WBGO in January 2014 as an intern. His love for telling stories about Newark's history landed him a position as a feature reporter. Before his time at WBGO, Ang was an overnight jock at Brookdale Public Radio on the Jersey Shore.

Since joining the news team, Ang prides himself on the ability to report on everything in any situation; hyperlocal stories, political conventions, major league sports teams, music. He's contributed reports to WHYY in Philadelphia and NPR news.

Outside of WBGO, Ang tends to the needs of his many cats.

Ways to Connect

Camilla Townsend, distinguished professor of history at Rutgers University New Brunswick says the holiday should be used as a teaching tool about Indigenous People and Christopher Columbus.

“Native Americans and their history and contribution should be paid attention to,” Townsend said.  “That might actually do more good if we decided to do that in our schools, radio programs, and conversations, that would do more good than saying we’re going to replace one holiday with another.”

Newark’s Black Media Story Summit follows a similar event at Google’s New York headquarters last year.  

“This is our second regional summit,” said Gregory Warren, Black Media Story Summit regional program director.  “Some of the challenges are the same, funding, distribution, there’s a need for platforms specifically dealing with that black content.  But we need to start the conversation somewhere and these Summits are meant to do just that.”

Ken Downey Jr. / For WBGO

Billy Dee Williams is no stranger to New York City, he was born and raised near Central Park North.  His birth name is William December Williams, explaining that Billy Dee was a showbiz name. 

“It’s my father’s name actually,” he said.  “He was born in December; I was born in April.  My father had a great sense of humor.  William December Williams.  That’s kind of interesting, I think.”

Williams, now 82-years old, got his start in acting at the age of six.  He auditioned for a part as a pageboy to the duchess in a Broadway production of The Firebrand of Florence.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The city of Newark has taken several major steps in recent weeks towards replacing lead service lines in homes.  Essex County issued a 120-million-dollar bond for the city to speed up the process.  And Mayor Ras Baraka recently announced a lease deal made with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for 155 million dollars to help pay for it.

Baraka says Newark is the only city in New Jersey with a plan to fix every lead service line.

Paula Court / Whitney Museum of American Art

Pianist-composer Jason Moran has formed many relationships with visual artists over the last two decades, from Joan Jonas to Adrian Piper to Glenn Ligon. He’s now joining their ranks with a solo exhibition at The Whitney Museum of American Art.

Jason Moran, as the show is simply titled, opened today and will run through Jan. 5, 2020. Earlier this week, Nate Chinen spoke with Moran and curator Danielle Edwards for WBGO News.

Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, NJ is partnering with Jazz 4 Prostate Cancer Awareness for a brunch featuring a live performance.

“The idea of Jazz 4 Prostate Cancer is what brings men to an event,” said Paul Messer with Jazz4PCA.  “They hear about jazz, they come in, they get a chance to listen, and then when we begin to talk about getting screened, they are a little more receptive to it.”

The event will offer free health screenings for those in attendance.

On the latest edition of the show, Gov. Murphy speaks with WNYC’s Nancy Solomon about the tap water situation in Newark. The Governor emphasizes that it’s not just a local problem but a national crisis, with so many towns and cities using old lead pipes.

The Governor also addresses storm preparedness for Dorian, his endoresement of US Senator Cory Booker of NJ for president, and the American Dream Meadowlands shopping center.

Adam B. Smith / A.B.S. Productions

Ang Santos: Joining us on the WBGO Journal, we have Adam B. Smith of ABS Productions.  His short film The Path is screening on Saturday September 7thduring a block at the CityPlex 12 Theater as part of the 2019 Newark International Film Festival.  Thanks for being here.

Adam B. Smith: Thank you so much for having me.

AS: Is this your first time having a film accepted to a film festival?

Ang Santos / WBGO

The City of Newark already began replacing water service lines made of lead earlier this year through a $75 million bond taken out in March.  Essex County Executive Joe Divincenzo says the additional $120 million fast tracks a long-term solution.

“This will allow them to ramp up the program and reduce the time it takes to change every pipe to 24 to 30 months instead of a decade,” he said.

Mayor Ras Baraka says roughly 18,000 Newark homes have lead service lines.  

An Santos / WBGO

Cars are parked with their emergency lights on in front of the Vince Lombardi Center in Newark’s north ward.  Brawny men use hand trucks to cart cases of water from the building to the cars, loading them in for residents.

“We’re giving out water as precaution, I think the distribution centers are moving excellently,” said Mayor Ras Baraka taking questions from reporters.  

Ang Santos / WBGO

In 2012, the Vietnam Veterans of America Jersey Shore Area Chapter 12 created a Cremains Project committee, a group that set out to return deceased fellow veterans to their loved ones.  New Jersey based producer and filmmaker Tom Phillips caught wind of the Veterans Cremains Project.

“My dad served, he died young and never told me a thing.  There was no closure for me,” he said.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey officials say its unclear why samples of drinking water in Newark exceeded the US Environmental Protection Agency's standards for allowable levels of lead, even as those homes used EPA certified water filters.  

Of the three recent samples of water taken from Newark homes, only one came back with levels of lead reduced to the EPA's standard.  New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe says she's meeting with federal officials to discuss what steps should be taken beyond handing out bottles of water to residents.

Keith Bratcher / Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Essex County is home for Antoine Saint-Victor, born in Newark and raised in East Orange.

“I went to Seton Hall Prep. From there I graduated and went to Cornell University in upstate New York. I worked in health tech for about three years in Boston, and now I’m here,” he said.

Saint-Victor is the first member of his family to graduate from college but working in medicine runs in his family.


When Harlem School of the Arts founder Dorothy Maynor was raising money to build the facility, New York City was a much different place. 

“They really wanted to create this safe haven with this oasis on the inside,” said Eric Pryor, president of Harlem School of the Arts.  

The funding from the Herb Alpert Foundation will fix some issues, such as air conditioning, but it’s the 18,000 square foot glass curtain wall set to be installed in the front of the building that will transform HSA.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Statistics from the US Census Bureau show massive growth in the senior population around the world, with that number expected to double by 2050.  In Japan, it’s possible that nearly forty percent of the population will be over the age of 65 in 30 years.  

“We just don’t have enough people to care for the older population,” said Derek Holt, president of K4Connect, a startup focusing on technology that empowers older adults and people living with disabilities.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Forest Gump wisely said, ‘life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gunna’ get.’ That’s sort of the idea behind Tellables.  

“The box of chocolates, we’re using that as a publishing platform, so when you ask Alexa to open my box of chocolates, she’ll get you a new assortment of twelve chocolates,” says Tellables founder Amy Stapleton.  “They’re not real, this is just imaginary, 12 chocolates every month and each chocolate is associated with a story.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed a bill that could help revitalize blighted areas in towns and cities.  

The New Jersey Land Bank Law allows municipalities to use public or nonprofit entities as an agent to acquire abandoned properties and revitalize them to benefit neighborhoods. Governor Murphy says it gives cities like Newark, Paterson, and Elizabeth another tool to reshape communities.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The pastures of perfectly lined soccer pitch didn’t always exist as they do at Players Development Academy.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The United States Women’s National Soccer team paraded through the Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan, receiving keys to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio during a post parade ceremony.  New Jersey’s own Carli Lloyd was the first member of the team to speak to the thousands of fans in attendance.

“I'm super proud of this team.  We were obviously here four years ago; it never gets old.  These parades are amazing.  The fans are amazing,” she said.

Ang Santos:  The Trump administration has decided to print 2020 census forms without a citizenship question.  The move comes days after the Supreme Court ruled to keep the question off census forms, and just a day after printing was scheduled to begin for 1.5 billion paper forms, letters and other mailings.  With us on the phone we have co-chair and founder of the House Census Caucus, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York.  Thanks for taking some time to speak with us. 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney:  I’m delighted to be here.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey advocates are celebrating the US Supreme Court’s move to keep the Trump Administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but still have lingering concerns about achieving an accurate count.

Patricia Williamson with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice says the citizenship question was presented to make the most vulnerable of residents’ invisible. / Monmouth University

A new national poll from Monmouth University shows one in three Americans rank abortion as a top issue in deciding how they’ll vote in the 2020 election.  

Poll Director Patrick Murray says 44 percent of democrats are more likely to prioritize it compared to smaller numbers of Republicans and Independents.

Ang Santos / WBGO

A New Jersey Appellate Division ruling has been issued on the side of Newark’s Civilian Complaint Review Board restoring several functions that were previously stripped by a lower court.  

“The CCRB can function as intended under the ordinance including providing an oversight role by investigating alleged police misconduct, conducting hearings, participating in the development of a disciplinary matrix, making recommendations, and issuing subpoenas,” Mayor Ras Baraka said reading from the ruling at a City Hall press conference.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The City of Newark unveiled a sculpture of former Mayor Ken Gibson.  The stone statue stands tall, a young Mayor Ken Gibson behind a podium with his hands raised.

“It’s from his victory first inauguration, victory speech,” said the late Mayor’s wife Camille Gibson. “I love it.  I think it’s beautiful.  It’s oversized but the detail in the face is perfect.  If you knew Ken, the face looks exactly like him, right down to his little ears.  It really does.”

Mayor Ras Baraka says the statue’s downtown Newark location is significant.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Mayor Ras Baraka has launched a pilot program he hopes will get more Newarkers to read books.  

The first phase of the free pilot program allows students to sign up online or at the local library and choose between two books.  Baraka is calling it the Mayor’s Book Club, an opportunity to promote literacy outside of the classroom.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Verna Hart’s most recognizable works are of musicians.  She loved jazz and blues.

“Eubie Blake, she named her kids after artists, Eubie Blake,” said Linda Sutton, an art consultant and longtime friend of Verna Hart.  They collaborated on projects.  Sutton helped sell her work.

“She painted almost everybody,” she said.  “You didn’t get to see them all, but she loved jazz.  If you went to her house that’s what you heard, jazz.  While she was just cleaning or whatever we were doing it was primarily jazz.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

There’s plenty of space for families to relax and keep the kids busy with floor fountains to cool off, a slide that scales a hill in the park, ping pong and chess tables.  Mayor Ras Baraka says Mulberry Commons represents a new era in Newark.

Ang Santos / WBGO

  The shape and cleanliness of New Jersey beaches has come a long way since Superstorm Sandy. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe expects them to get even better despite concerns over sea level rise from climate change.

Between 45 and 50 percent of Newark residents are underbanked or have no bank account.

“Either because they’ve never had a bank account, or they don’t trust the bank to keep their money,” said Catherine Wilson, President of United Way of Essex and West Hudson.  She says some residents have been boxed out of opening a bank account. 

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is making a pitch to investors to take advantage of the state’s Opportunity Zones, neighborhoods designated by a federal program designed to drive long-term capital investments into low-income communities.