Staff

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Jonathan I. Hirsch

Founder and Executive Director

Jonathan I. Hirsch is an award-winning producer, reporter, and sound designer, who has helped develop shows for dozens of clients including NPR, Stitcher, NBC, Pineapple Street Media, Fusion Media, and VOX.

His original 7-part podcast series Dear Franklin Jones debuted at #1 on iTunes in February of 2018.

 
 
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John Asante

Managing Producer

John Asante is a curious producer devoted to crafting stories that bring light to underserved communities. Before joining Neon Hum Media, he developed, produced, and launched several podcasts at Stitcher. His work has also been heard on WNYC's The Takeaway and There Goes The Neighborhood; NPR's Talk of the Nation, Ask Me Another, Morning Edition and Tell Me More.

In his spare time, John hosts Play It Back, an independent podcast telling stories about the songs that have changed your life. Forever he loves Atlanta, yet he loves exploring Los Angeles.

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Vikram Patel

Executive Producer

Vikram grew up on the shores of the LA River, playing basketball and eating candy.

But during an extended layover in Alaska, Vikram discovered his love for live storytelling and public radio. He cut his teeth by producing a popular live storytelling program called "Arctic Entries." Vikram also produced a recurring public radio segment profiling newcomers to Anchorage, founded a nonprofit that brought storytelling into high schools, and once spent a night in a snow cave.

 
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Laura Zinger

Director of Operations

Zinger hails from the Chicago area, and is proud to be from the same town as new Jeopardy legend, James Holzhauer. After, spending most of her career in the Midwest as a Video Producer, Zinger took a detour into nonprofit management where she rebuilt the operations at a 40-year-old mental health organization into a modern day, tech smart version of itself. 

Zinger recently moved to Los Angeles where she has applied her new operational know-how at a secret tech startup and as a Post Production Coordinator at Mattel.  She’s thrilled to have finally landed at Neon Hum Media and is happy to call this her new work home.

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Catherine Saint Louis

Senior Editor

Catherine Saint Louis was a reporter and editor at The New York Times for 18 years. She covered many topics, but focused on health coverage.

She left the New York Times to edit podcasts and to make her own audio stories. She likes a good cry as much as a good laugh. She is a proud graduate of the Transom Story Workshop where she made a story about a controversial obituary. She hosts a monthly podcast club in her backyard to discuss what works and what doesn't with other Brooklynites. 

 
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Mary Knauf

Producer

Mary is an audio producer and certified morning person. When she isn't bouncing off the walls at 6 A.M., you can find her sitting in a chair wondering how to "organically" use Twitter. Before joining Neon Hum, she got her start at Southern California Public Radio as a daily news producer and contributor. She then finagled her way into the station's podcast department, where she helped make critically-acclaimed shows like The Big One and Tell Them, I Am.

 
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Courtney Kocak

Producer

Courtney Kocak is a Los Angeles-based writer, podcaster, and burrito enthusiast. Before devoting her life to audio (and burritos, obviously), Courtney wrote on Amazon's Emmy-winning animated series Danger & Eggs, voiced by SNL's Aidy Bryant. Now she's excited to be the lead producer for Neon Hum on The Bellas Podcast (which debuted at #1 on Apple Podcasts), as well as the podcast version of Amanda de Cadenet's popular Lifetime series The Conversation. She also created and co-hosts Private Parts Unknown, a podcast uncovering stories of love and sexuality around the world. 

 
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Gabrielle Lewis

Producer

Gabrielle Lewis is a Los Angeles-based producer at Neon Hum Media. Before joining NHM, she was a producer with Pineapple Street Media and Transmitter Media in New York. She independently produced podcasts for Penguin Random House's TASTE and Food52's Burnt Toast, and worked in production with the Moth. In another life, she ghost wrote a daily column for the New York Daily News.

 
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Natalie Rinn

Associate Editor

Natalie Rinn is a journalist, native Minnesotan, and former executive editor of Brooklyn Magazine. After nine years in New York, she moved to Los Angeles to explore a new part of the country, and new mediums for telling stories -- above all, podcasts. Hiking, running and driving around Los Angeles have been her favorite spaces to discover and be inspired by magical worlds created through audio.

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Karan Nevatia

Production Assistant

Karan Nevatia fell in love with podcasts when he first discovered the medium in high school and hasn't looked back since. Karan was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but moved to Los Angeles for college.

Currently studying journalism as a sophomore at the University of Southern California, Karan is the podcast editor at his school newspaper, the Daily Trojan, where he created the newspaper's first-ever podcast, "General Education."

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Tanner Robbins

Production Assistant

Tanner Robbins wanted to tell stories from the time he was ten years old. He started as a filmmaker, shooting claymations in the basement of his home in Birmingham, Alabama. By the time he got to Los Angeles in 2016, Tanner knew film was not his medium. All those hours listening to podcasts and NPR stories had gotten to him. In the Fall of 2018, he graduated from a nine week radio intensive at the Transom Story Workshop where he absorbed everything he could about radio, storytelling, and deep sea fish. Back in LA, Tanner spend his free time experimenting in the kitchen, which is a great time to listen to podcasts.

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Betty Márquez Rosales

Audio Production Intern

Betty Márquez Rosales is a journalist and graduate student. She is most passionate about sharing nuanced stories of people from historically underrepresented communities. Betty was raised in southeast Los Angeles and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied at UC Santa Barbara and is now at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

 
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Natalie Bader

Audio Production Intern

Natalie Bader is a journalist and musician living in Los Angeles. During her time as a freelance flutist, she fell in love with all things audio and decided to explore the worlds of journalism and podcasting. She moved to LA to attend graduate school at The University of Southern California, where she worked as a radio producer for Annenberg Media and as a contributor for Ampersand LA.

She has a music degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina.

 
 
 

Contributors

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Greta Weber

Producer

Greta Weber is a reporter and producer based in Portland, Maine. After working as a magazine journalist for two years in D.C., she realized that audio storytelling was her true passion. She’s so happy she made the switch.

She’s a graduate of the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies, also in Maine. She’s from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Pallavi Kottamasu

Producer

Pallavi Kottamasu is passionate about the passage of family stories from generation to generation. She was born in Massachusetts and has lived there – close to her own family – for her whole life, until she decided to move to Los Angeles, California. She regularly Facetimes them to show them sunshine. 

When she was living in Boston, she was the first intern at the newly-opened PRX Podcast Garage. From there, she involved herself in a few Boston-based projects, including the podcast Harvard-based Ministry of Ideas. She was also a 2017 AIR New Voices Scholar and a graduate from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. 

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Grant Irving

Producer

Grant Irving finds writing about himself in the third person weird, so from this point on he’s going to stop. There. Public radio (and then podcasts) made me feel like we are less alone. All those radio waves echoing through space, like the ones that hit my car when I first fell in love with the medium in high school, make me wistful. And I can’t imagine doing anything else.

I’ve been privileged enough to help make stories I’ve thought might make other people feel more connected. For instance, the story of my father’s life and death for CBC’s LOVEME, the origins and family dynamics behind Dr. Bronner’s Soap for Gimlet Creative, and the lost history of sunken land for Atlas Obscura and NPR.

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Marissa Schneiderman

Producer

Marissa Schneiderman is a writer, oral historian, and radio producer. She was raised in Los Angeles, California in a multicultural, intergenerational household. She is shaped by the Argentinian, Danish, and Guatemalan culture that was present in her home life. Her upbringing has sparked a lifelong interest in identity, community, and the wisdom of elders.

She is a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and has received numerous grants and awards to support her audio and multimedia creative work. Outside of audio production, you might find her drawing mildly offensive portraits of friends and acquaintances.

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Ashley Cleek

Editor

Ashley Cleek is an award-winning reporter, editor and producer. She has worked on projects for NPR, BBC, PRI, The Nation, Latino USA, and various other shows.

She lives in New York but calls Alabama home. 

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Scott Somerville

Engineer / Sound Designer

Scott Somerville is a recording engineer and music professional based in Los Angeles, CA. Scott got his start at the renowned Larrabee Studios, and later began engineering feature film scores and worldwide advertising campaigns. He has also recently been working alongside a team of medical professionals at the UCLA Center of Medicine and the Arts, one of the premiere facilities in the world for voice related medicine, and also mixes for Motor Trend Magazine and a host of podcasts and audio programs. Scott loves playing music, snowboarding and, most of all, his wife, Christy.