Joining me at 9:00am Monday on KUCI 88.9fm...Sal Masekela!
If you missed the show, you can listen here.
Sal Masekela is a commentator, journalist and producer best known and beloved for his work hosting ESPN’s Summer and Winter X Games, his cultural reporting in South Africa during the 2010 Soccer World Cup and hosting E! Network’s the Daily 10. A native of New York, Sal honed his love of showmanship from an early age while touring the world with his father, South African jazz icon Hugh Masekela. That experience coupled with his teenaged exposure to Southern California’s counter culture produced an avid surfer, snowboarder and skateboarder, giving Sal his unique voice and perspective that has cemented him as a fixture in sports and lifestyle news circles.
Currently, Sal continues to work with ESPN on their X Games programming while simultaneously helping NBC Sports Network and its action sports brand Alli, launch a new one-of-a-kind series in partnership with Red Bull Media House, “Red Bull Signature Series.” With the first episode airing January 21st, Sal will host 35 hours of one-of-a-kind programming of the most progressive and innovative snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motorcross, ice cross downhill, skiing and BMX events several times a month through the end of 2012.
Continuing to grow as sports & entertainment’s most sought after and engaging talent, Sal continues to raise his profile in the film and television world with projects such as lending his voice in Sony Pictures Feature Animation’s Oscar nominated Surf’s Up in 2007, a role in the upcoming comedy “The Misadventures of Ben Banks”, and recently producing two documentary short films through his UX Entertainment production group. The documentary short “Alekesam” was recently accepted into the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival and will premiere on April 19th in New York. “Alekesam” chronicles the highs and lows in the life of Sal’s father, Hugh Masekela, an Apartheid activist and renowned musician who was exiled from his homeland in South Africa for 30 years. It also highlights Sal’s own journey in embracing his roots through music and reconnecting with his father.
Sal grew up surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding, but officially began his career in sports answering phones at Transworld Media; the bible of action sports culture, and it was there that he soon found his voice and his niche. At Transworld, Sal not only rose to become the Assistant Producer of Transworld’s Snowboarding Video Magazine series, but also the MC for Board Aid – a music and action sports based AIDS education youth program. Sal then went on to become the marketing director of Planet Earth, a clothing and skateboard company, and in 1998 helped launch the lifestyle apparel brand “Alphanumeric”. Alphanumeric quickly became the industry’s leading street and sports apparel line and had a significance affect in shaping what the action sports apparel business is today.
It wasn’t long before FOX Sports executives discovered Sal’s unique ability to draw a crowd, and in 1997 asked him to co-host the FOX Sports half-hour action lifestyle show “Board Wild”. MTV soon took note of Sal’s potential to connect sports, music and the youth culture together, and he quickly became MTV’s action sports “go-to” guy. From 1998-2002, he co-hosted the ever-popular MTV Sports and Music Festival as well as MTV’s Board Blast. It was Sal’s debut in the 1998 snowboarding documentary Snow Taxi that then attracted the attention of ESPN. Sal was initially hired as a snowboarding sideline reporter for the 1999 ESPN Winter X Games, and quickly became known for his ability to make action sports accessible to a broader audience. He would go on to host both the Winter and Summer X Games, and has also appeared as a host for such ESPN lifestyle programs as “The Life”, “X Today”, “X In Concert” and “Tony Hawk’s Gigantic Skatepark Tour” as well as being one of the NBA’s Western Conference sideline reporters on ESPN and ABC.
With talent not limited to sports Sal has hosted such entertainment shows as E!’s Live Countdown to the Golden Globes and Academy Awards and during his work on E!’s Daily 10 was well known for his wink and a smile humor as well as chatting up the likes of Julia Roberts with ease.
Through an understanding of alternative cultures and lifestyles, Sal is able to capitalize on his experiences and truly bring a unique and authentic perspective to the projects he is involved with. It is his widespread popularity with young audiences, as well as the immense respect from the athletes in action sports that will allow Sal to continue breaking new ground within this culture and demographic for years to come. Currently, In addition to his hosting, producing, acting, writing and voice over work, Sal lends his name and time to the charity he co-founded, Stoked Mentoring, a non-profit action sports organization for “at risk” youth with the mission of “Developing successful teens with opportunity, knowledge, experience, and determination through the use of action sports, mentoring and coaching” (www.stokedmentoring.org).
Sal currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.