#MediaMonday – Kyle Backer

Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Kyle Backer, staff writer for AZ Big Media including Az Business Magazine, AZRE Magazine, Experience AZ and many more.

How did you get your start in the media? What is your story?

Unlike many in the media, my eyes weren’t set on a career in journalism since high school or earlier, yet I always knew I wanted to do something focused on writing. Pursuing that goal led me to work as the communications specialist at West-MEC, a public school district focused on trades education, for about five years.

Then the pandemic hit. Like others, the lockdown gave me time to reflect on where I wanted to be in my career. I had just gotten married in February 2020, so my life was already in transition, but my wife was incredibly supportive of me pursuing journalism. So, I enrolled in the Master of Business Journalism program at ASU and started interning at AZ Big Media shortly after. I must’ve made a good impression, because they offered me a staff writer position in May 2021 and I haven’t looked back!

Tell us about your outlet and types of story pitches you want?

AZ Big Media publishes multiple magazines that cover the business community, commercial real estate and lifestyle topics. I primarily write for our two flagship magazines, Az Business and AZRE.

The best pitches for me are going to be anything to do with Arizona’s economy, large commercial real estate deals, local business profiles, the residential real estate market or how legislation will affect the business/development community. I think the housing shortage in Greater Phoenix is a huge issue, and I’m always interested in hearing about potential solutions to that problem, be it through zoning reform, tax incentives or cost-saving innovations from builders.

Where did you grow up?

I’m a born and bred Arizonan — both my parents are too! I grew up in North Phoenix and now have a house with my wife and our two dogs in the Deer Valley area.

Favorite color?

I’ve always been partial to green, maybe because we don’t see enough of it here in the Valley.

Favorite TV shows or movies?

This is a tough one. I’d say The Fifth Element, Blade Runner or Lord of the Rings for favorite movie, and LOST or The Magicians for TV. Ask me again next week and my answers might be different.

Favorite local restaurants or other haunts?

So much good food in the Valley, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout out the AH-SO Sushi & Steak on 61st Avenue and Bell Road. They’ve been in business since 1996 and aren’t affiliated with the other locations, but their sushi is unmatched. It’s the only place I’ve been a regular at where the staff know my name.

For a great cocktail, any of the concepts at Century Grand (UnderTow, Grey Hen Rx and Platform 18) are sublime. Melinda’s Alley is another good option if you’re downtown.

Three things readers would be surprised to know about you?

  • I was the captain of Glendale Community College’s award-winning speech and debate team and competed across the U.S. and twice in Europe.
  • I’m a pescatarian, hence the love of sushi.
  • My wife and I sold one of our cars and bought two motorcycles early this year, which has been exhilarating. And it was her idea!

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Written by
at Nov 7, 2022

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