The Aron Bender Podcast

Episode Archive

Episode Archive

49 episodes of The Aron Bender Podcast since the first episode, which aired on February 24th, 2021.

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    Julio Cortez: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographer, Baby Catcher

    July 20th, 2021  |  1 hr 24 secs
    2020, 2021, ap, aron bender, associated press, audio, baltimore, bias, california, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, dodgers, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, george floyd, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, los angeles, love, mental health, mexico, minneapolis, murder, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, ptsd, pulitzer prize, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, trauma, tv news, twitter, undocumented, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender is joined by Julio Cortez, an Associated Press photographer who just recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. He’s come a long way since growing up in the small town of Tepexpan outside Mexico City, entering the US without papers, and spending nearly a decade going to LA Valley College and Pierce College before eventually graduating from Cal State Northridge, aggressively pursuing his passion, and becoming a citizen.

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    Melissa McCarty: Killer Genes

    July 14th, 2021  |  59 mins 4 secs
    2020, 2021, amarillo, aron bender, audio, bias, bipolar disorder, california, colorado, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, gangs, girl dad, god, grand junction, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, las vegas, los angeles, love, mental health, murder, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, ptsd, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, trauma, true crime, tv news, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with fellow Cal State Northridge graduate, Melissa McCarty, co-host of the "Killer Genes" podcast. She spent several years in local TV news in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Grand Junction and Amarillo, but since breaking free she’s written her memoir, "The Making of a Crime Reporter," as well as the 8-part Audible series I recently talked with Kerri Kasem about, "Bitter Blood: Kasem vs. Kasem." Melissa also spent several years working on "Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen," and Larry King's Ora TV.

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    Kristen Aguirre: Anchor, Reporter, Stroke Survivor

    July 8th, 2021  |  49 mins 28 secs
    2020, 2021, aron bender, audio, bias, california, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, denver, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, ischemic stroke, journalism, joy, kids, kusa, latina, los angeles, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, stroke, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, trauma, tv news, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with Kristen Aguirre, who at 31 and working for KUSA 9 News in Denver suffered a stroke. After months of rehab she returned to work, was fired, and then her dog died. Now she's an anchor and reporter at WLOS in Asheville, North Carolina. If you remember my podcast guest a couple months ago, Lori Lizarraga, Kristen is one of the Latinas let go by 9 News over the course of a year, written about it the article "LatinXed: 9News Got Rid of Three Latina Reporters This Past Year, Including Me."

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    Kirk Hawkins: Anchor, Reporter, Real Estate Agent

    July 5th, 2021  |  37 mins 50 secs
    2020, 2021, abuse, aron bender, audio, bias, california, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, italy, journalism, joy, kids, los angeles, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, real estate, recovery, religion, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, trauma, tv news, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with KTLA utility player Kirk Hawkins. He reports, anchors, does weather and traffic, and is also a real estate agent! We discuss the wild housing market, and his journey from Agoura Hills, California, to UC Santa Barbara and the local station KCOY, then his "News Across America" tour that took him to KXLY in Spokane, Washington, WFTV in Orlando, Florida, home to KCBS/KCAL, then over to WCCB in Charlotte, North Carolina, and back west to KTLA in 2014. Kirk and I also discussed the impact of the Woolsey Fire and Borderline Bar & Grill Shooting in 2018.

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    Gin Amber: Trauma Survivor, Immigrant, Dermaroller Queen

    July 2nd, 2021  |  35 mins 24 secs
    2020, 2021, abuse, aron bender, audio, beauty, bias, california, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, derma roller, dermaroller, europe, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, gin amber, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, lithuania, los angeles, love, mental health, miami, michael jordan, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, south florida, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, trauma, tv news, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with Gin Amber -- who left a small town in Lithuania to become a global beauty icon: the Dermaroller Queen. In this episode we discuss Gin's traumatic childhood, her early memories of wanting to escape her abusive home for a better life, her pursuit of the American Dream, and how her YouTube stardom started because she was a bored introvert in the US on a student visa.

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    Steve Wyche: NFL Network Analyst, Podcast Host

    June 30th, 2021  |  51 mins 48 secs
    2020, 2021, aron bender, atlanta falcons, audio, baseball, basketball, bias, california, colin kaepernick, concussions, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, cuban, depression, faith, fatherhood, football, forgiveness, frustration, girl dad, god, green bay packers, grief, hard work, hbcu, howard university, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, los angeles, love, mental health, miami dolphins, miami heat, miami herald, michael jordan, minneapolis, minnesota, missouri, news, nfl, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, south florida, sports, sports talk, st. louis, struggle, success, super bowl, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, washington post, washington wizards, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender hangs out with Steve Wyche -- an NFL Network analyst and co-host of the Huddle and Flow Podcast. In his more than 30-year career with the Miami Herald, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and NFL Media, he’s broken major stories like Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem, Michael Vick dogfighting and Michael Jordan joining the Wizards. Steve and I discuss his experiences growing up in Minneapolis and St. Louis, his decision to attend Howard University, his thoughts on the George Floyd murder, concussions, and NFL news involving Julio Jones and Aaron Rodgers.

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    Janelle Marie Rodriguez: Journalist, Actress, Mental Health Advocate

    June 28th, 2021  |  55 mins 50 secs
    2020, 2021, aron bender, audio, bias, california, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, cuban, depression, espn, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, los angeles, love, mental health, miami, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, south florida, sports, sports talk, struggle, success, super bowl, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender is joined by Janelle Marie Rodriguez -- one of his former journalism students at Cal State Northridge. She now splits time between Los Angeles and her hometown of Miami. Janelle's been a TV news reporter, entertainment and sports journalist and host, an actress, spent a few years at ESPN and Disney Channel, and is now with FIBA and Latin Up — a new show on Twitch.

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    Tessa Barrera: Tess Talks

    June 21st, 2021  |  1 hr 4 mins
    2020, 2021, aron bender, astros, audio, bias, california, coronavirus, corpus christi, covid, covid-19, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, houston, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, los angeles, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, rod ryan show, self care, self love, sports, sports talk, struggle, success, super bowl, tess1tess2, tessa barrera, texas, therapy, tiktok, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender catches up with Tessa Barrera -- one of his favorite people ever, even though she's an Astros fan. Born and raised in Texas, she's worked in radio and television news for many years but before that played in the Lingerie Football League, was a participant in Stone Cold Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge, and auditioned to become a WWE Diva. We worked together at KFI in Los Angeles, then Tessa moved on to join 94.5 The Buzz and The Rod Ryan Show, the #1 morning show in Houston.

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    Natalie Brunell: Bitcoin Beach

    June 18th, 2021  |  33 mins 45 secs
    2020, 2021, abc news, aron bender, audio, bias, bitcoin, california, coinbase, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, cryptocurrency, depression, dogecoin, ethereum, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, los angeles, love, mental health, miami, news, palm springs, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, sacramento, self care, self love, spectrum news, sports, sports talk, struggle, success, super bowl, therapy, tiktok, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with Natalie Brunell -- who hosts two podcasts and is also a reporter at Spectrum News 1 SoCal. She’s worked in Palm Springs and Sacramento, as well as for ABC News. And teaches at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. A couple years ago she entered the podcast space with Career Stories and recently made a big splash (especially in the business podcast arena) with Coin Stories talking with the personalities in the cryptocurrency bitcoin Dogecoin Ethereum digital currency world.

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    Jorge Sedano: Fatherhood, Mental Health, Anxiety and Sports

    June 16th, 2021  |  42 mins 42 secs
    2020, 2021, aron bender, audio, bias, california, chris paul, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, espn, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, fox sports radio, frustration, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, james harden, journalism, joy, kevin durant, kids, kobe bryant, kyrie irving, lakers, lebron james, los angeles, love, mental health, miami, nba, nba playoffs, news, nfl, pandemic, paul george, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, sports, sports talk, struggle, success, super bowl, therapy, tiktok, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender chats with his friend, Jorge Sedano, who hosts a show on ESPN LA 710 with Scott Kaplan and previous podcast guest LZ Granderson. Sedano also does sideline reporting and some play-by-play for the NBA on ESPN and ABC. I’ve known Jorge nearly 20 years. We worked together at iHeartRadio at WIOD and WINZ in Miami. He's worked for Fox Sports Radio as well as at ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut. We talked about fatherhood, mental health and anxiety, his goals involving the LatinX community, as well as the Clippers, Suns and the rest of the NBA Playoffs.

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    Kerri Kasem: Bitter Blood

    June 15th, 2021  |  41 mins 50 secs
    2020, 2021, aron bender, audible, audio, bias, california, casey kasem, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, elder abuse, elder abuse awareness day, entertainment, faith, father's day, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kerri kasem, kids, los angeles, love, mental health, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender is joined by Kerri Kasem -- the executive producer of "Bitter Blood: Kasem vs. Kasem," a new eight-part documentary podcast available on Audible that looks at the final years and death of Kerri’s famous father, the legendary Casey Kasem, and the fight over his care and the care of others in his position. Casey died June 15th, 2014, which was Father's Day that year, and every year is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

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    Ben Maller: Clippers, Lakers, Dodgers and Life

    June 7th, 2021  |  1 hr 4 mins
    2020, 2021, aron bender, audio, bias, california, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, fox sports radio, frustration, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, kobe bryant, lakers, lebron james, los angeles, love, mental health, nba, nba playoffs, news, nfl, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, sports, sports talk, struggle, success, super bowl, therapy, tiktok, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender chops it up with Ben Maller, who does overnights on Fox Sports Radio. And while he is a success overnights -- he’s not an overnight success. Ben’s been at this for more than 20 years -- including being a pioneer in the blogging arena. We start off talking about his Clippers and our Dodgers, what the Angels need to do to get Mike Trout and Shohei Otani deep into the playoffs, we talk LeBron James and the Lakers, but also discuss the losses we’ve suffered in the last 7 months: my wife, and his dad.

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    Ted Sobel: Touching Greatness

    June 4th, 2021  |  1 hr 2 mins
    2020, 2021, aron bender, audio, bias, california, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, elgin baylor, eli manning, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, kobe bryant, lakers, los angeles, love, mental health, miami, nba, news, nfl, pandemic, peyton manning, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, sports, struggle, success, super bowl, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender talks with Southern California sports journalism icon Ted Sobel. He's worked for KNX, KFWB and KMPC, among others. Ted's covered every major sporting event you can think of, and met all kinds of superstars. He tells great stories in his new book, “Touching Greatness: Tales from the Front Row with Heroes and Legends.” And he tells great stories in this episode! We talk a lot about Kobe Bryant, Ted’s boyhood idol Elgin Baylor, and why Eli Manning and David Tyree tracked him down after their improbable Super Bowl win.

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    PJ Butta: The Nightcap

    June 2nd, 2021  |  32 mins 15 secs
    2020, 2021, aron bender, audio, bias, california, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, girl dad, god, grief, hard work, hip hop, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, los angeles, love, mental health, news, pandemic, pirates, podcast, positivity, r&b, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, slow jams, sports, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, west coast, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender hangs out with PJ Butta -- an LA hip hop radio icon from the 92.3 The Beat days in the 90’s to now doing afternoons on the legendary KDAY. In addition to his on-air work he teaches broadcasting, runs his own podcast network, and pours The Nightcap weeknights at 8pm Pacific / 11pm Eastern on Twitch playing slow jams in front of the fireplace — using that platform to help people in need. All this fresh off of his 11-day battle with COVID. We discuss his inspiration for The Nightcap, the future of radio/audio, and he ranks his top 3 bourbons.

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    Kevin Cuenca: Grindin All My Life

    June 2nd, 2021  |  1 hr 11 mins
    2020, 2021, alcoholism, aron bender, bias, burnout, california, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, god, grief, hard work, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, los angeles, love, mental health, mexico, news, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, san antonio, self care, self love, sports, struggle, success, syracuse, texas, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender is joined by Kevin Cuenca -- a former sports reporter turned content creator who’s driving in his own lane. Especially with a show like Cruisin with Kevin. He worked at CBS2/KCAL9 here in LA but as we talk about in this episode some of the content he was creating didn’t sit well with someone in management. We talk about the late Nipsey Hussle, his most painful tattoo, figuring out social media algorithms, and life as a Navy kid with an alcoholic father.

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    Chenue Her: Two Months Later

    June 1st, 2021  |  59 mins 4 secs
    2020, 2021, aron bender, atlanta, bias, burnout, coronavirus, covid, covid-19, depression, faith, fatherhood, forgiveness, frustration, god, grief, hard work, hmong, identity, instagram, journalism, joy, kids, laos, los angeles, love, mental health, minnesota, news, oregon, pandemic, podcast, positivity, radio, recovery, religion, self care, self love, spa shootings, st. paul, struggle, success, therapy, tiktok, tv news, twitter, virginia, widower, wife, youtube

    Aron Bender catches up with Chenue Her -- a TV news reporter at 11 Alive in Atlanta. We first talked for the podcast back in March but that was a brief conversation centered around the spa shootings in the Atlanta area and the Stop Asian Hate campaign. In this conversation we dive into Chenue’s fight with COVID, growing up in Minnesota, self care as a journalist and son of Hmong immigrants, his meme fame, and his growing sneaker collection.