Samia Khan began her broadcasting career at the age of 11 in her hometown of Fresno, after being selected as on-air “talent” for the ABC O&O’s Idea Factory, a locally-produced (though ABC and therefore Disney-owned) children’s educational program. After spending the day at KFSN-TV, she was hooked, and immersed herself in the idea of a future television career.
Because of her academic achievements, extracurricular pursuits (including competing at the CA State Tournament for her Forensics speech titled “Biases in the Media”) and her work as a sports intern covering high school football at the NBC-affilIate at the age of 17, she was awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. (Though she piqued MIT’s interest because of her perfect SAT math score, she declined their advances – her heart was set on television.)
She spent her four years at USC immersed in all things broadcast – working her way up from assignment desk to executive producer at Annenberg TV News, and successfully securing the coveted news anchor spot her sophomore, junior and senior years. She also spent three years at the Robert Zemeckis Center as host of the improvised game show Mind Games, airing regularly on both TrojanVision and Los Angeles cable channel 36 – it was in this role that she received her first piece of fanmail, a viewer named Angel, who messaged her on MySpace.
During her time at USC, she also interned at Good Morning America’s West Coast bureau, and graciously declined intern opportunities at CNN in both Atlanta and London to return to her family (and her Fresno roots) and intern at ABC-30 instead (yes, the station where her TV dreams began a decade prior.)
Following graduation, she moved to the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts to be a pioneer herself – working as both an education reporter and morning show reporter at the ABC-affiliate in Springfield, Mass. She worked as a reporter for the ABC station in Bakersfield, CA before securing the opportunity to turn an entertainment producing gig into a national correspondent role on TV Guide Network’s “Hollywood 411.”
As the digital video space was developing at a rapid rate, Samia pivoted from TV to online content in 2010 after being selected by Samsung as an international correspondent for theWinter Olympic Games in Vancouver, producing and appearing in scripted and unscripted, informational and comedic content – creatively incorporating product placement into each segment.
She continued in the branded content space – being hired by MyShoes.com to launch a digital fashion network, enterprising 8 original video series while also working as on-air talent and producer.
She then caught the attention of SONY as they searched nationwide for a blogger and digital correspondent at the FIFA World Cup – though she didn’t make it to South Africa (she was the runner up), the team enjoyed her “voice” and on-camera personality, and hired her to co-host SGNL, a digital series about all things Sony makes – entertainment, tech, gadgets – a series produced in at Discovery Digital Networks (formerly Revision3) in San Francisco, and available for viewing globally.
With the growth of social media and her astute observational skills, she and a friend launched #instacurity, a scripted sketch comedy series that was created with the intention of being a movement.
To further explore the scripted space, she took a sitcom writing class and was selected in the inaugural class of the ABC-MPAC Writer’s workshop based on the strength of her New Girl spec script.
Speaking of “New Girl” – she was then hired as the “new girl” by FOX Broadcasting Company – returning to her broadcast journalism roots to help launch a pilot program then-known as FOX News Now at the FOX O&O in Phoenix (the deciding factor? Her future boss told her that his higher up in New York — Dennis Swanson, i.e. “the guy who discovered Oprah” — saw something “special” in her personality demo reel.)
After three years in Arizona, Samia returned to California to be closer to her family and take a much needed creative, explorative and maternal sabbatical – a decision driven by a combination of family health concerns, career burnout and creative (and wanderlust) curiosity. During this time, she explored different career paths, relationships and locations, and gathered material for her next professional venture.
Part of that journey of self-discovery was getting to know her parents as an adult, understanding who she is and where she came from, and discovering her Mughal Empire-era healing ancestry.
Though she still has no interest in becoming a doctor (or marrying one), she is inspired by the idea of being a healer – and believes her creative and performance work can be a vehicle for that…while still maintaining the Khanversations theme.
She’s dialogue-driven – because only through dialogue, communication, conversation – can we heal. Whether it’s a divided nation, a divided family, cultural conditioning, or just millennial IG drama — she’s piecing together projects that reflect humanity, shining a light on what she thinks is important…and trying to have some fun along the way.