Another lifetime ago – okay, it was like 2007 – I met Ali Dugaw. At the time, the young brunette (yes, she was once an actual brunette working at ABC15 as a producer). It’s been so long, I can’t remember exactly how we became friends beyond just PR person and producer, but I think it was through the late, great Buzzcation events back when Twitter meet-ups where a thing.
In 2011, Ali dared to leave Arizona (and me) for Los Angeles, Nicaragua and then Chicago. Thankfully, by 2013, she was back – albeit not back in the media just yet. She actually dabbled in marketing, catering and events for a spell before being sucked back into the local TV market in 2016 – this time by 3TV’s Good Morning Arizona.
Now back as a formal member of the local broadcast media for nearly two years, we finally locked her down for a #MediaMonday to talk all things being Ali, Good Morning Arizona and more.
What do you do at Good Morning Arizona, and what do you like about it?
As a segment producer for Good Morning Arizona, I work with a great team to produce more than 60 television interviews, live remote, in-studio demos and breaking news stories a week. I like the pace, but more than that, I love the people. We really are – as our tagline suggests – Arizona’s Family.
Tell us about your other work in media over the years?
My first job in TV was running the teleprompter for the a 30-minute newsmagazine at the Tucson PBS station as a freshman at the University of Arizona. I saw an ad in the newspaper and went for it. By the time I graduated college, I became the only female director and even started doing some on-air reporting.
After that, I moved back to the Valley and worked as a studio technician at ABC15. Once an associate producer role was created I moved into that, then producer, then special programming producer of an afternoon talk show. I spent six years there.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and then moved to Mesa when I was about 12.
Did you always know you wanted to be in writing, producing and/or media?
Funnily enough, writing was my least favorite thing to do in school because I put so much pressure on myself. I still do that, but have more confidence and experience. I switched my major from Political Science to Journalism when I was a student a UA because a college professor once told me she thought I was a natural for the profession and that I could “sell ice to an eskimo.”
Favorite type of music?
1970s pop rock. I can’t wait to see Fleetwood Mac next year!
I like all the colors!
Favorite local haunts?
I try too many new places to have one favorite! I love a good patio ambience and a good happy hour. With that said, my family and I enjoy celebrating birthdays at Mastro’s.
Favorite places to visit?
Anywhere new! My favorite status is to be exploring a new city.
Anything gluten free. I started an Instagram dedicated to gluten-free finds @glutenfreetravelgirl. Share anywhere that might be a fit!
Least favorite food?
True foodies don’t discriminate, but I have a tough time with strange meats and body parts.
Three things readers would be surprised to know about you?
Are there any surprises in the age of social media? It’s all out there! How about:
Best way to pitch you?
Email. Juggling multiple segments a day, I need all the details documented to stay organized! firstname.lastname@example.org
Types of stories and pitches you are looking for?
Great community / human interest stories, innovative ideas, events in town, celebrity interviews, health-related pitches, restaurant openings, local businesses, people making a difference, a new spin on something old, anything fun and visual, basically whatever YOU’D want to see on a morning show!