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.
Alex Blumberg is a former This American Life administrator who, prior to rejoining us as a producer in the summer of 1999, worked as a freelance radio reporter, contributing to TAL, the Savvy Traveller and Chicago Public Radio. Lately Alex has been focusing on economics reporting via Planet Money, a collaboration between This American Life and NPR. He also teaches at Columbia University in NYC.
Before joining the TAL staff, Emily Condon ran the Oak Street Cinema, a single-screen revival movie theatre in Minneapolis, and got a Master's at The New School for Social Research. She infrequently shares her interest in deadball-era baseball here and occasionally writes for Reverse Shot and Rookie.
Before joining the show as a producer in January 2004, Sarah Koenig was a political reporter at the Baltimore Sun, and before that at the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire. She also lived in Russia for three years, working first for ABC News and then for The New York Times.
Before joining the show as production manager in 2006, Seth Lind managed all things technical at The Radio Foundation. He also produced a few radio pieces, and worked on several films. Seth performs improv comedy with the group Thank You, Robot. From 2008-2012, he hosted a live monthly storytelling show called Told.
Lisa Pollak joined the show as a producer in April 2004, after seven years as a features writer at the Baltimore Sun. She's also worked as a reporter for the News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) and the Charlotte Observer. As a print reporter she won the Pulitzer Prize in features writing and the Ernie Pyle Award for human interest writing.
Brian Reed first came to This American Life as an intern, and rejoined our staff as a producer in October 2011. In the interim he was a producer at StoryCorps. Brian also reported and produced stories for NPR as a Kroc Fellow and as their first Above the Fray Fellow.
Before becoming a producer in June 2007, Robyn Semien was an associate editor on the first season of This American Life television.
Alissa Shipp joined This American Life in the summer of 2006 from Warner Brothers Pictures, where she served as TAL's executive liaison. 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 TAL, 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.
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 TAL TV show.