#MediaMonday – Gina Santiago

Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from 12 News, where Gina Santiago is now the commercial production manager.  She’s a fellow NATAS Silver Circle inductee, having been welcomed to the circle in 2019.

Gina, time to share:

A little about me…I was born in the Peach State, Atlanta, Georgia and started my career in the television industry right out of high school. Since then, while raising my family, I have graduated from the University of Phoenix with a BS degree in Management.

I worked with KTVW Univision for about three decades, and also worked as a freelance graphics operator for the Phoenix Suns, Mercury, Arizona Rattlers, and Phoenix Coyotes.  Most of my background is in television production, from directing/technical directing live shows to reporting and editing entertainment programs and newscasts.

I started at KPNX 12 News December of 2019 as a marketing producer. This year I was promoted to commercial production manager position.  I have enjoyed working with our sales team on a daily basis, helping them bring their proposals to life is always a rewarding experience.  They keep us very busy writing, shooting and editing daily and I like that.

I am most proud of the stories I’ve done covering artists, the behind-the-scenes of opera and ballet, but I will have to say two of my most memorable stories were covering the Narco Mausoleums and the Capilla de Narco Saint, Jesus Malverde both located in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico.  I had the luxury of having a historian and a high school history book author escort me around key places where I had the opportunity to learn more about Sinaloa and their kind people located in this area otherwise known as the heart of drug cartel.  It was almost unbelievable seeing firsthand what drug money buys and its price…including lives. Besides getting to meet and interview some of the intriguing people, the insight into some of Sinaloa’s history while covering these stories was a big and interesting take away that I’ll remember for a long time.

Some of my career highlights include producing/directing a live and live-on-tape Spanish morning show for 22 years, produced and edited on the road shows, specials and children music video shows.   I received a Telly award for producing a Spanish morning holiday show, in addition to several Emmy nominations for news stories I’ve covered — eventually earning seven Regional Emmy Awards in my career. In 2019 I was inducted into the prestigious Silver Circle Society in the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter. I’ve also been serving on the NATAS Board of Governors since 2014.

When I’m not working, if I’m not volunteering in one thing or another, you’ll more than likely see my lead foot on the road running my daughters around to ballet class, show rehearsals and performances.  All transparency, no thanks to the pandemic, over the last year and half I picked up a new guilty pleasure of watching movies and series.

My favorite food will always be mom’s Cuban cooking…but I have to admit I can’t ever resist “comida casera” homemade Mexican food.

I love to travel, listen and dance to Latin music, so much so, I used to be on the ASU Salsa dance team and competed in Las Vegas.  Never won.

I wish I was more “sozsh” as the millennials say, but I am honestly a Gen Xer work in progress.

Written by
at Dec 20, 2021

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