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Today’s #MediaMonday is special for a few reasons.

 

First, it’s technically posting on a Tuesday given Presidents’ Day was yesterday.

And second, it is on a member of the media near and dear to my heart for more than 10 years now.

 

It all started in the mid-2000s when HMA was working with the Tempe Music Festival. That particular year, Fender partnered with the festival in honor of its 60th Diamond Anniversary. As such, the acts that year were off the charts and included Jeff Beck, John Mayer and about 30 others my now late-30s brain has forgotten.

 

A few days before the festival, a lovely gal named Christina Fuoco-Karasinski called me…to cover the festival for Rolling Stone Magazine.

 

It was the most exciting media call I had gotten in my then-24 years on the planet.

 

But, even better than the coverage is the relationship I forged with the media maven I affectionately call “Christina FK.” Today, I am proud to write for her on several platforms at Times Media Group, not to mention our team is always pitching her about a dozen things at any given time.

 

She is more than good people. She is great people.

 

So, Christina, time to share!

 

Tell us how you got your start in journalism? Tell us your story!

Well, my mom worked in corporate for a publishing company in Michigan and she brought home reporter’s notebooks for me to doodle in. Instead of doodling, I walked up and down the street taking notes on neighbors. (LOL) My mom and dad knew I was going to be trouble. I studied journalism at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where one of my advisers was journalist Kurt Luedke, who wrote Out of Africa and Absence of Malice. He told me to change my major to hospital administration. I forged ahead and worked for the university newspaper, The Oakland Sail and then The Oakland Post. I did an internship with Olympia Entertainment (Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings and the Fox Theatre). So, I made sure he knew about the major awards I won my senior year of college at a local daily paper, The Daily Tribune. On that note, I knew journalism was my career when this old man wearing a trench coat came into my office in Royal Oak late at night. He had a story idea for us. It was Jack Kevorkian with his suicide machine. I love knowing things first.

As for music journalism, I started during that internship. It was a dream come true. As a kid, I always taped songs off the radio and wrote about them. Then I grew up reading Gary Graff, a prominent music journalist based in Michigan. He was my primary inspiration and influence. My mentor was the fantastic Mitch Hotts at the Macomb Daily in Michigan. I don’t know if either knows that.

 

And how did you make your way to Times Media Group?

Well, my dad had a heart transplant in Michigan and fell ill. He and my mom moved here. I eventually followed. After stints with the East Valley Tribune, Independent and AJ News, my mom found an ad for TMG and I applied. That was eight years ago, and the rest is history! I owe everything to her. When I started with TMG, there were only three publications. It’s amazing to watch it grow.

 

You are busy over there! Tell us just how many of the Times outlets you edit or write for these days?

OK, I have my hand in many of them, but I’m the managing editor of The Entertainer! Magazine; Nearby News Mesa; Lovin’ Life in Tucson; West Valley View and Glendale Star. I work on calendars and arts for all the publications, though.

 

Where did you grow up?

Proud Michigander. I was born in Dearborn, Mich., and lived in Westland and Berkley, where I owned a home before I moved.

 

Favorite type of music?

I’m a sucker for pop music—Barenaked Ladies, Robbie Williams, The Script, Del Amitri and anyone from Detroit, like Eminem and Kid Rock.

 

Favorite color?

Bright blue or pink. Funny considering I wear black all the time.

 

Favorite restaurants?

My husband and I went to England –he’s from England—and left out of Heathrow. We ate at a restaurant there called Gordon Ramsay Plane Food. Best food I ever had in my life. I had steak with a burgundy sauce. Amazing. But around here, I love Red, White and Brew, and anything Thai.

 

Least favorite food?

I’m allergic to seafood and mushrooms, so there you go.

 

Three things readers would be surprised to know about you?

  1. I’ve freelanced for Rolling Stone, Billboard and Pollstar, and have interviewed the likes of Paul and Linda McCartney, Keith Richards, Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift.
  2. I once turned down a meet and greet media hour with Nirvana because I thought, “Who the heck are they anyway?” That was the first time they played Detroit’s St. Andrew’s Hall. The thing I did instead? A meet and greet with Vince Neil.
  3. I sent Steve Yzerman—a now-legendary Detroit Red Wings player—his first fan letter in the 1980s when we were both teenagers. It was so early in his career that he didn’t even have photos yet. He sent me a handwritten letter, instead.

 

What is the lead time you need for content?

Three to four weeks, ideally—especially for magazines like The Entertainer! Magazine.

 

What is the best way to reach you?

Email or by calling (480) 898-5631. I work all over the Valley, so I’m not by my phone all the time.

 

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

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