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About Press Play

Press Play explores the future of communication by talking to those who are building that future. In each episode, Temple Northup, the Director of the Valenti School, interviews the ground breakers, influencers, storytellers, and leaders making an impact on the world through media and communication. These candid talks dive deeply into not only their successes of today, but the stories of how they were able to get to where they are.

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Current Season's Guests

Listen to these Industry Leaders

Claudio Cabrera Headshot

Claudio Cabrera: NY Times Deputy Off-Platform Director

Season 3: Episode 8

Claudio Cabrera is part of the SEO (search engine optimization) team at The New York Times. He leads on the news side working with his fellow team members, Erin Seims, Gordon Hurd and Jennie Coughlin. Their main responsibility is to drive audience growth through search and assist desks, in developing editorial ideas that will serve what readers are interested in across the web.

Courtenay Valenti Headshot

Courtenay Valenti: President of Development & Production, Warner Bros. Pictures

Season 3: Episode 7

In this Thanksgiving week episode, we revisit one of our first episodes. A 28-year studio veteran, Courtenay Valenti has risen through the creative development ranks at Warner Bros. Pictures to become president of production and development. Valenti has been a creative force behind the studio’s resurgence in feature animation and the founding of Warner Animation Group, where she shepherded such titles as The LEGO Movie to critical acclaim. In this episode, Valenti will talk about her Hollywood career and her life growing up in the spotlight as the daughter of legendary Hollywood heavyweight Jack Valenti.

Isidro Reyna Headshot

Isidro Reyna: Senior Communication Specialist, NASA

Season 3: Episode 6

Isidro Reyna is a Senior Communication Specialist at NASA, where he's tasked with telling stories of human space exploration. From running into people at lunch who just returned from space to traveling to Russia to watch the launching of a rocket, the job has given him incredible opportunities. 

Byron Perry

Byron Perry: Founder & CEO of Coconuts Media

Season 3: Episode 5

Byron Perry is the Founder and CEO of Coconuts Media, a local city news and video network reaching up to 26 million people per month in Bangkok, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, KL, Jakarta, Bali, and Yangon. In this episode, Byron discusses growing Coconuts from him writing all of the content while living in Bangkok to having 8 offices across the region.

Phil Morabito

Phil Morabito: CEO of Pierpont Communications

Season 3: Episode 4

Philip Morabito founded Pierpont Communications in 1987 after leaving New York City and a prestigious Madison Avenue public relations firm. Hiring his first employee in 1992, Phil now oversees the largest independent integrated marketing and PR firm in the southwest – with offices in Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and New Jersey. 

Matthew Riemer

Matthew Riemer: LGBT_History & We Are Everywhere Author

Season 3: Episode 3

In January of 2016, Matthew Riemer, along with his partner Leighton Brown, started the Instagram account lgbt_history. Just a few years later, it has nearly 500,000 followers and led to the publishing of the book, We Are Everywhere. In this live episode, Matthew talks about why they started the account, how it's built such a large following, and why he thinks understanding queer history is so important.

Jenny Dial Creech

Jenny Dial Creech: Sports Columnist

Season 3: Episode 2

Jenny Dial Creech is a sports columnist for the Houston Chronicle. As such, her job is to share her thoughts and opinions about everything going on in sports. In this conversation, we talk about her successful career, her approach to writing, and the ways she is able to handle the often vicious and sexist feedback she receives especially through social media.

Olivia Kuan

Olivia Kuan: Filmmaker

Season 3: Episode 1

Olivia Kuan is currently directing and producing her first documentary feature, a project that tells the story of the Houston Herricanes, an all-women professional football team from the 1970s. On this episode, we discuss her personal connection to the film and how she went from growing up in Houston to attending NYU film school--and now working as a successful Director of Photography in LA. 


When to Listen

Press Play is published every other Monday during the fall and spring semesters.

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