Samantha "Sam" Kubota is a senior digital journalist for WUSA9.
Sam joined the WUSA9 team in June 2018 as a documentary field producer, before moving into her current role in early 2019. She also intermittently worked on the TEGNA Central Content Team (CCT) as a digital producer, writing online stories and editing videos for a national audience - including highlights such as a tarantula killing and eating an opossum and people "casually throwing cheese on babies as part of an internet challenge."
Sam also had the honor of telling impactful stories, like how maternal mortality is increasing in the United States while it goes down elsewhere. She produced, with her former documentary team, the Mothers Matter series which spotlighted the issue in Washington D.C., where maternal mortality rates are higher than most of the nation.
Prior to WUSA9, Sam worked for two years as the digital director of KREM-TV in Spokane, Washington. There, she successfully and exponentially contributed to increased social followers, on-platform visitors and video views. She regularly wrote enterprise stories and helped run the assignment desk as needed. As digital director, Sam helped to create a slew of resources for staff that they could refer to as they learned a new market and revamp the way they were on-boarded. Sam helped run several marketing campaigns and was the main digital strategist for the station. She also once helped obtain security footage of her boss falling into a pond at TEGNA corporate headquarters - a la The Office - which made her a KREM legend, probably?
Sam worked at WBIR in Knoxville from 2013-2016 in a variety of roles, including as a special projects and investigations digital/TV producer and fill-in executive producer. She helped organize a televised and streamed town hall - combining the resources of all three television stations in town and local leaders - after a Knoxville teen died shielding his friends from stray bullets in a drive by shooting. She shot and produced several 360 videos using then-cutting edge technology and ran the station's Instagram account. She also helped write day-to-day news stories and post on other social network platforms.
Sam serves as a volunteer for the non-profit, Born Just Right, which aims to build creative solutions that help kids with differences live a more enjoyable life.
Sam has previous experience at Newsy, KOMU TV, and as a radio DJ for Y107 in Columbia, Missouri. She also worked for several years as a speech and debate coach in Missouri and Illinois. She has, in fact, always been this cool, despite being from the suburbs of Chicago.
When she's not at work, you can find Sam watching Missouri Tigers football, giving comedy walks on the National Mall, singing karaoke, watching classic rom coms, or eating at various restaurants (ramen or brunch, preferably).
Follow Sam as she chases her bliss on Instagram here, or read her ridiculous tweets here. Feel free to email her restaurant suggestions, cute dog videos, or story ideas here: skubota at wusa9 dot com.