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Our Team

McArdle Hankin
President | Partnerships

Tay Glass
Vice President | Product

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Ellison Libiran
Senior Producer

Lauren Peace
Communications Manager

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History: Formed out of a radio show in San Francisco we decided to try and turn our on-air program into a live event and started Back Pocket Media. As our production grew we noticed that many of our most successful performers were journalists. People loved hearing their stories on stage. Moreover, folks who typically didn’t care about the news stuck around after our shows to chat with reporters about their stories. This led us to wonder: could our live storytelling model be adapted by newsrooms to increase trust in their reporting? Enter: Local Live(s). 

Mission: Local Live(s) aims to change how journalism is told and understood. 

We partner with local newsrooms to build a live journalism event model that engages

readers, increases the longevity of important stories and generates revenue. 

  • Engagement: Our events humanize journalists and demystify the reporting process

while bringing communities and newsrooms into a shared space. 

  • Revenue: Local Live(s) newsrooms keep 100% of revenue generated by events.

Ticket sales, bar, underwriting and subscription/membership acquisition are all

revenue streams produced by our model. 


  • Longevity: We reinvent the best stories from print and radio as core content for our shows

which exposes them to new audiences segments and creates derivative content to publish

as podcasts, videos, and ads that highlight your newsroom’s work. 

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Our Story

Highlights: When locals connect with journalists, trust in the media increases. 

  • Winner of the MAGIC Grant + Winner of the inaugural Impact Grant from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation (a collaboration between Columbia Journalism School and Stanford Engineering).

  • 74.5% of Local Live(s) attendees said they were more confident in their understanding of the journalists' process after hearing the reporters’ stories.

  • 5/6 partner newsrooms from Season One found enough value in our model to continue producing a version of Local Live(s).

  • 91% of people who came to our shows stayed for our entire 1-hour-virtual production.


     *700+ unique responses gathered over 8 events

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