#MediaMonday – Amanda Luberto
Today’s #MediaMonday feature comes to us from Amanda Luberto, a coproducer of The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com podcasts, Valley 101, a weekly podcast that answers listener questions about the Phoenix area, and The Gaggle, an Arizona politics podcast.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Southern California, but we moved to Phoenix when I was two. I grew up in the Northwest Valley of Phoenix.
How did you get your start in the media? Tell us your story!
I have always wanted to be in the media! I went to the Cronkite School at ASU for college, and it set me on the right path. There is where I discovered my love for radio and audio. I was able to get a few audio journalism internships through Cronkite and when I graduated, I started at the NPR member station in Phoenix, KJZZ.
Tell us about your outlet and programs. What types of pitches are you looking for?
I work on two weekly podcasts alongside my coproducer, Kaely Monahan. One is an Arizona politics podcast called The Gaggle. We try to take national headlines and put them into an Arizona context. The other is called Valley 101 and it is more of a storytelling type show. We cover the people, places and traditions that make Arizona special by answering questions that listeners submit to our show. We are always looking for interesting people to talk with that can localize a story.
What are your favorite stories to work on?
I love any story that makes you go “huh, I didn’t know that.” When listeners email me saying that they learned something or feel more informed from my reporting, it’s always a good feeling. For Valley 101, I love working on stories that are very audio rich. I did a big piece about if monsoons were good or bad for Arizona and I got to use a lot of great storm sounds.
What are some of your hobbies?
I am (unfortunately at times) a big Arizona Coyotes fan, so I watch a lot of hockey. I spend most of my free time going to concerts and watching movies. I like to shoot film photography and I’ve been studying wine/working in the wine industry for about six years now.
Favorite movie? TV show? Book?
I’m a big consumer of pop culture, even hosting and producing a movie podcast with my best friend on the side. (It’s called Blindspotters if you wanted to take a peek) My favorite movie is David Fincher’s Zodiac. Despite being over three hours long, I’ve probably seen it a dozen times. My favorite TV show is Lost. It was the first show I remember watching week to week as it aired, even though I was a kid when it started. My favorite book changes all of the time, but the best book I read recently was Julie Andrews’ memoir Home Work.
Do you have any favorite local spots?
Definitely! I basically live at Songbird Coffee and Tea House. The Theodore on Roosevelt is one of my favorite places to grab a drink on the patio, and Belly is one of my go-to restaurants to show people when they’re in town. Supporting local businesses has been really important to me since moving downtown for college.
What is the best way to reach you?
Via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @amandaluberto.