Valenti School's Press Play

Valenti School's Press Play
Press Play, hosted by the Valenti School of Communication’s Director Temple Northup, showcases communication groundbreakers, innovators, disruptors, and leaders who are all making an impact on our world. These candid conversations don’t just focus on their current success, but explore their strategies, failures, and career paths. Together, we’ll see how they transformed from a student into an influencer.

Claudio Cabrera: NY Times Deputy Off-Platform Director
Dec 9 • 30 min
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 Adriana Lacy. Their main responsibility is to drive audience growth…
Courtenay Valenti: President of Development & Production, Warner Bros. Pictures
Nov 25 • 40 min
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…
Isidro Reyna: Senior Communications Specialist at NASA
Nov 11 • 20 min
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…
Byron Perry: Founder & CEO, Coconuts Media
Oct 28 • 32 min
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…
Phil Morabito: CEO, Pierpont Communications
Oct 14 • 24 min
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…
Matthew Riemer: LGBT_History & We Are Everywhere Author
Sep 30 • 39 min
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,…
Jenny Dial Creech: Sports Columnist
Sep 16 • 41 min
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…
Olivia Kuan: Filmmaker
Sep 2 • 26 min
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…
Press Play Feedback
May 31 • 0 min
We need your help! Please take this audience survey to help us shape the third season of Press Play: Press Play will resume this fall.
Paul Siefken: Fred Rogers Productions President & CEO
May 20 • 27 min
As President and CEO of Fred Rogers Productions, Paul Siefken oversees the production of popular children’s programs like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat, and the Odd Squad. In this episode, Paul discusses his career from high school teacher in…
Mariana Atencio: Bilingual MSNBC Journalist
May 6 • 24 min
Mariana Atencio is a bilingual journalist who reports for MSNBC and NBC. Originally from Venezuela, Atencio went to Columbia University for her masters in journalism before embarking on a successful career of reporting and now as an author of her first…
Matt Lewis: Center-right Pundit & Journalist
Apr 22 • 35 min
Matt Lewis has earned a reputation as an independently minded and intellectually honest “right-of-center” journalist. He is a senior columnist for The Daily Beast, host of his own podcast Matt Lewis and the News, book author, and frequent commentator on…
Aimee Woodall: the Black Sheep Agency
Apr 8 • 27 min
For some entrepreneurs, the desire to run their own business is innate. For Aimee Woodall, president and founder of the Black Sheep Agency, that wasn’t the case. Aimee happened into the entrepreneurial life – and then excelled at it. On this episode of…
Gilad Katz: Consul General of Israel
Mar 25 • 21 min
Gilad Katz, the Consul General of Israel for the SW United States, joins the conversation this week to discuss his job as a representative of Israel, the role new media plays in democracy, and how his career began as a journalist.
Oliver Luck: XFL CEO & Commissioner
Mar 11 • 20 min
When the re-launch of the XFL was announced, Oliver Luck was appointed as its CEO and Commissioner. In this episode, he talks about his decision to join the XFL and why he thinks this time it will be a success this time, and how he transitioned from an…
Devi Asmarani: Mango Meter
Feb 25 • 32 min
Devi Asmarani is an Indonesian journalist and entrepreneur who, along with a group of other women around SE Asia, launched the app Mango Meter—an app that aims to offer a feminist perspective on film ratings. This isn’t her first startup, though, as she…
Jorge Ramos: Journalism Icon
Feb 11 • 23 min
For more than 30 years, Jorge Ramos has been one of the most trusted voices in journalism. Often referred to as “The Walter Cronkite of Latin America,” Ramos is known to ask tough questions. In this episode, Ramos shares his beliefs about journalism and…
Kim Thai: Discovery Communications
Jan 28 • 48 min
Kim Thai is an Emmy award winning producer and creative currently serving as the VP of Original Digital Video for Discovery Communications. This wasn’t always her career path, though, as she began her career by working for major print journalism…
Vanessa Wade: Connect the Dots PR
Dec 10, 2018 • 29 min
After spending time working in the Obama White House, Vanessa Wade was looking for a change. She decided to move home to Houston and start her own PR agency, Connect the Dots. In this episode, we hear about the challenges—and the rewards—of starting and…
Andy Scholes: CNN Sports Anchor
Nov 26, 2018 • 38 min
Scholes hosts early morning sports shows on CNN both domestically and internationally. He covers all major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, World Series NBA Finals, and the Masters. In this episode, Scholes highlights his journey from UH to getting…
Courtenay Valenti
Nov 12, 2018 • 39 min
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. In this episode, Valenti will talk about her Hollywood career and her life growing up…
Hedley Thomas: Host of Hit Podcast “The Teacher’s Pet”
Oct 29, 2018 • 58 min
True crime podcasts are among the most popular in the medium so making a splash in this genre is tough. Impressively, The Australian’s true crime series The Teacher’s Pet has been downloaded more than twenty million times. In this episode, investigative…
Kevin Wade: Screenwriter
Oct 15, 2018 • 25 min
In the world of screenwriting, Kevin Wade has done it all. From hugely successful films like “Maid in Manhattan” and “Working Girl” to being the Executive Producer and Showrunner for longtime CBS show “Blue Bloods,” Kevin’s career spans decades. Kevin…
Ashley DeWalt
Oct 1, 2018 • 39 min
Ashley DeWalt, CEO and Founder of Leverage Sports, is a leader in the sports marketing world. Using some of the most innovative and cutting edge methods, Ashley represents some of the biggest names in the sports industry. This success has been a vision of…
Weigh in on Press Play
Jul 31, 2018 • 1 min
After a successful pilot season, we are excited to introduce the first season of Press Play this fall. Season 1 will continue to spotlight the stories of impactful communicators. In the meantime, we want to hear from you. We want our new and returning…
Alex Lopez Negrete
May 7, 2018 • 35 min
Over 30 years ago, Alex Lopez Negrete had a vision for the influence and importance of the Hispanic market. Because of that, he founded Lopez Negrete, an advertising agency focused on reaching that group. To say it has been a success is an understatement…
Scott McClelland, HEB Houston President
Apr 8, 2018 • 23 min
Scott McClelland is one of the most iconic figures in Houston—he is the President of HEB and perhaps best known as “Mr. HEB” from the HEB television commercials. From working the delivery routes at Frito-Lay to starring in commercials with JJ Watt, Scott…
Joshua James
Mar 21, 2018 • 24 min
In January of 2018, Joshua James launched a new app: Zig. Its goal is to provide news in a different and more visual manner. In this conversation, we hear from Joshua about how he was able to create this app, and how his entire career started as an…