Josefa Salinas is one of the most passionate and positive on-air personalities in the business. Salinas, of Gold Coast Broadcasting in Los Angeles, has a passion for interviewing people; the reason her public affairs show has been on the radio for thirty years. This successful broadcasting career stemmed from her days as a juvenile probation officer. Sounds like a natural transition to radio, right?

Straight out of college Salinas became a juvenile probation officer. After encouragement from her boss, she decided to go into radio. Her first radio gig was helping out a community affairs director and within a couple of weeks she had a 15-minute talk show of her own. Later, when she applied for a job at a commercial station, she was turned down for lack of experience and advised to try a smaller market. At that point, Salinas thought, “Forget this, radio is not for me.” Luckily, someone suggested that she attend an industry convention taking place the next day and hand out her demo tape. At the convention, she bumped into the very same program director that had just turned her away. Her persistence paid off. Salinas says, “He hired me that day and I was on the air that night.” She credits him for making her the on-air personality she is today. After spending time in San Francisco, she headed to Los Angeles and has been there since.

The pursuit of perfection is what sets Salinas apart from the rest. She has a passion for interviewing people and believes that radio needs to be personal. She makes communities and the people she interviews feel like they matter. Sometimes called a “Spin Doctor,” she can make any subject into something relevant to her audience; she finds something interesting and relevant in everyone she speaks with. Her love of the community keeps her involved in many activities that focus on supporting women, girls, and underserved communities. Salinas is also an author, runs a non-profit, and manages several online radio stations.

Her main piece of advice for an interviewee is to be as engaged as possible; be excited and get the interviewer excited. And her advice for a journalist entering the broadcast field is to be yourself, because “you are the brand.”

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