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"Studio SoCaL" to Premiere This Summer

COSTA MESA, Calif. (May 19, 2014) – PBS SoCaL, PBS for Greater Los Angeles, announced Elizabeth Espinosa and Rick Reiff as co-hosts of a new weekly News and Public Affairs program that will launch this summer. The announcement was made during the station's annual gala on Saturday, May 17th. 

The new weekly show will be titled "Studio SoCaL" and cover news and public affairs topics about Southern California. "Studio SoCaL" will produce one 30 minute episode each week. The show will bring key topics and video reports from throughout the region for in studio discussions by Elizabeth, Rick, local personalities, newsmakers and topic experts.

"As the lead PBS station for our area, we want to provide a different kind of news and public affairs program for Southern California…one that is the catalyst for broad local conversations, not a stodgy discourse on the issues," said Mel Rogers, PBS SoCaL President and CEO. "'Studio SoCaL' will engage the community with a unique format designed to invite the viewer into the discussion.  Elizabeth and Rick are the perfect team to make this show a success."

Elizabeth Espinosa is an Emmy award winning television personality recently named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of "Hollywood's Most Powerful Latino Talent Under 40 in the Entertainment Industry". Elizabeth was also handpicked by Oprah Winfrey to join the network's first reality tv show in 2011. Elizabeth is also very proud to be the first Latina and currently the only female talk radio host on KFI-640 AM's weekday lineup, the number one talk radio station in the country, on her new weekday show from 1-3pm. She also continues to report for KTLA-5's primetime newscasts and can also been seen on CNN/HLN as a contributing anchor.  Elizabeth is also a special needs advocate and supports a number of important charities across the country, including the Epilepsy Foundation of America and The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles.  She has also held past hosting roles on her own CNN prime-time daily talk show Sin Limites, the San Diego FOX Affiliate, Univision's flagship Los Angeles station, K-MEX 34, FOX 11 ‘s "Good Day LA," and the national correspondent for "Good Day LIVE." Politicians, including President Obama- appointed U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, California State Senator Gil Cedillo and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, have all honored Elizabeth for her contributions to the community and to humanity.

"I grew up in Southern California—entertained and inspired by this tremendous network. The honor of hosting a show on PBS SoCaL, means I have the opportunity to give back merely a fraction of what this network has given me all these years." said Espinosa. "Not many women—especially a Latina woman from Lawndale, California—receive access to a platform this powerful. I take my new duties here at PBS SoCal as a privilege, and it is my hope to be able to continue to use my voice and my calling: to benefit the most people in the best way."

PBS SoCaL's long-time journalist, Rick Reiff, is currently the host and executive producer of "SoCal Insider with Rick Reiff." He is also executive editor of the Orange County Business Journal. Reiff has received a Pulitzer Prize and four Golden Mike Awards, distinguishing him in both print and broadcast journalism.

"This is another step by PBS SoCaL to provide thoughtful, compelling and in-depth coverage of our diverse, vibrant – and let's face it – challenged region," Reiff said. "David and I have worked together for 10 years, and we are delighted to now be teaming with Elizabeth in this new venture."

"SoCaL Insider with Rick Reiff" reporter, David Nazar, will also join Elizabeth and Rick to bring hard-hitting investigative reporting about the community to the show. David Nazar is a multiple Golden Mike award-winning reporter with over two decades of journalism experience at PBS SoCaL and network affiliates across the country.

"Studio SoCaL" will take the place of PBS SoCaL's current Emmy-nominated weekly News and Public Affairs program, "SoCaL Insider with Rick Reiff." The show has been honored for the past three years with a Golden Mike Award® as "Best News Public Affairs Program" by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California. "SoCal Insider" and its predecessor, "Inside OC with Rick Reiff," have aired for 10 years.

About PBS SoCaL
PBS SoCaL is PBS for Greater Los Angeles and is dedicated to educating, entertaining and enlightening viewers throughout Southern California.  With its three unique broadcast channels, PBS SoCaL HD, PBS SoCaL Plus and PBS SoCaL World, PBS SoCaL provides award-winning programs like Frontline, NewsHour, NOVA, Nature and Masterpiece, as well as local productions including SoCaL Insider with Rick Reiff and LAaRT.  Through community outreach initiatives including PBS SoCaL Education, PBS SoCaL provides local schools access to new media materials that engage students in 21st century learning.  Explore the future of PBS in Southern California at www.pbssocal.org.

Updated July 2, 2014

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