Ira Glass started working in public radio in 1978, when he was 19, as an intern at NPR's headquarters in DC. Over the next 17 years, he worked on nearly every NPR news show and did nearly every production job they had: tape-cutter, desk assistant, newscast writer, editor, producer, reporter, and substitute host. He spent a year in a high school for NPR, and a year in an elementary school, filing stories for All Things Considered. He moved to Chicago in 1989 and put This American Life on the air in 1995.
Before joining This American Life in 2009, Emily Condon ran the Oak Street Cinema, a single-screen revival movie theatre in Minneapolis, and got her master's degree at The New School for Social Research. She also manages Serial, our second show.
Seth joined This American Life as Production Manager in 2006. When he's not managing the tech and business sides of the show, he performs improv comedy and makes movies. Seth directed the video of our 2014 live show, This American Life: One Night Only at BAM. From 2008-2012, he hosted a live monthly storytelling show in NYC called Told.
Before becoming a producer in June 2007, Robyn Semien was an associate editor on the first season of the This American Life television show.
Alissa Shipp joined This American Life in the summer of 2006 from Warner Brothers Pictures. She's also worked as a book scout and as an associate with literary agent Nicole Aragi. Alissa handles film rights, development, and production for This American Life, and also looks for literary material for the show.
Prior to joining our staff, Julie Snyder was a reporter for WGN radio in Chicago, and also was news director at KZSC, Santa Cruz's public radio station. She also executive produces our second show, Serial.
Nancy Updike is one of the founding producers of our show. Her stories appear in "Sissies," "Crime Scene," "24 Hours at the Golden Apple," and other episodes. Her hour-long Iraq story, "I'm from the Private Sector and I'm Here to Help," won the Edward R. Murrow Award for best news documentary and the Scripps-Howard National Journalism Award in radio. She was nominated for an Emmy for her story "God’s Close-Up," from the first season of the our TV show.