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Alta Magazine Podcast

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Bring the pages of the magazine to life. Alta revels in everything about California and the West — with penetrating investigative articles, clever essays, vivid photos and smart reviews. Alta's podcast digs deeper into the pages of the magazine to bring our stories to life.

Bring the pages of the magazine to life. Alta revels in everything about California and the West — with penetrating investigative articles, clever essays, vivid photos and smart reviews. Alta's podcast digs deeper into the pages of the magazine to bring our stories to life.
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San Francisco, CA


Bring the pages of the magazine to life. Alta revels in everything about California and the West — with penetrating investigative articles, clever essays, vivid photos and smart reviews. Alta's podcast digs deeper into the pages of the magazine to bring our stories to life.






Northern California's Wild Horses

Wild mustang populations are out of control, competing with cattle and native wildlife for vital resources like land and water. If the federal government doesn’t rein them in, ranchers may take matters into their own hands. Journalist Jason Goldman joins the podcast to discuss his latest Alta cover story, focused on the controversy surrounding the thousands of feral horses in Northern California's Modoc National Forest—and beyond.


Planet's Woke Satellites

Today’s guest is Po Bronson, a longtime science journalist who has been recognized with nine national honors, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award. He works as strategy director at IndieBio and serves as a futurist with Attention Span Media. In the Summer 2019 issue of Alta, Po wrote about Planet, a San Francisco-based company that uses shoeboxed sized satellites to take images of nearly everything on Earth – from space. He joins us to explain...


Bonus Episode: Rethinking Steve Jobs

In this bonus episode of the Alta podcast, recorded on March 21, 2019 at Books Inc’s Opera Plaza location, we discuss the many complicated legacies of the late Steve Jobs with three Silicon Valley mainstays who worked with and knew him well. Our panelists include Andy Hertzfeld, who was a member of the original Apple Macintosh development team in the 1980s, Tom Zito, who penned the recent Alta article on Steve Jobs that inspired this event, and who first met Jobs in 1977 while working for...


Can the L.A. Times be Saved?

Today’s guest is Mark Potts, former (and founding) Managing Editor of the Journal of Alta California. Mark has covered business and the media for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Associated Press and he currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Mark wrote our Summer 2019 cover story, a look at the past, present and the future of the storied Los Angeles Times and is here to detail the many ups and downs of this legendary daily paper.


Bonus Episode: L.A.'s Underground Nightlife

Based in Los Angeles, Safi Alia Shabaik is a founding member of the Los Angeles Street Collective and a teaching assistant at the Los Angeles Center of Photography. She’s also worked as a stylist and muse to performer Grace Jones and — as a mortician. Safi’s work explores underground subculture and nightlife in Los Angeles, and a collection of her rare color images are featured in the Summer 2019 issue of Alta. She joins us to explain why connecting with the bold beauty of L.A. underground...


The Fierce Issues Surrounding Feral Cats

Matt Smith, a journalist for the Center for Investigative Reporting, joins us to discuss the hot-button issue of feral cats. For Alta’s Summer 2019 Issue, Matt wrote about the oddly complicated world of feral cats — their devoted fans, their activist euthanizers, and the section of Disneyland that is home to dozens of them. Yes. Disneyland. Today, he’s going to take us even deeper into this heated and, quite frankly fascinating issue.


Bonus Episode: Julian Guthrie's Alpha Girls

In a Bonus Episode of our Alta Podcast, we visit author Julian Guthrie to discuss her new book, Alpha Girls: The Woman Upstarts Who Took On Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made Deals of a Lifetime. Guthrie explains how she researched this intimate look at some of venture capital's leading partners, and reveals that her book will soon be developed for television.


Getting to know Jack London

Think you know Jack (London)? Think again. Writer Joy Lanzendorfer joins us to discuss the tragedy that broke the famed author's heart, his complexities, passions, and untimely death. In our Summer 2019 issue, Joy details author Jack London’s rise from abject poverty to become the highest paid author of his day. With his success, London saw his dreams come true, and then watched one of them — the dream for his own beautiful mansion — burn to the ground before he ever got a chance to live in...


Busted: Brash Stories From Texas and New Mexico

Explore the hardscrabble times, places, and people of Texas and New Mexico in our panel discussion titled Busted: Brash Stories from Texas and New Mexico. Authors Joshua Wheeler and Bryan Mealer join Alta contributor and Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano to recount the booms, busts and bold characters of life in the Southwestern United States. Busted was recorded on March 7, 2019 at The Huntington Library in San Marino, California and is presented in partnership with the...


California's Dining Trends

Michael Bauer, the former food critic of the San Francisco Chronicle for over 30 years. Michael has won numerous national awards in his nearly four decades of food journalism, and while retired from the Chronicle, he continues to write — including for us at Alta Magazine. Michael joins the Alta podcast to talk about emerging trends at dining around California, an unexpected dining destination, and $70 chicken. Read Michael's review of Angler in a recent issue of Alta Magazine Check out...


Podcast Boom

Blaise Zerega, formerly a writer and editor at publications like Wired and Conde Nast Portfolio and now, he’s the Managing Editor of Alta Magazine. Blaise's latest piece for the magazine is a look at the rapidly growing popularity of podcasts — and what that means for the future of this very intimate medium. He joins us to talk about the history and the future of podcasting, and to recommend three podcasts that are doing it well. Read Blaise's feature in Alta Magazine, How We Listen: The...


The Final Event

Cindy Hegger specializes in end-of-life photography. She began this stage of her business after photographing activists working in Sacramento to pass what ultimately became California’s End of Life Option Act, a law that allows terminally ill residents to end their life with self-administered drugs. Cindy and her clients treat the end of one’s life just like any other major milestone — something that should be documented with photos and treasured. Her work — and the process of end of life...


Beverly Hills Subway

Dangerous fumes. Explosions. Terrorism. Lisa Korbatov has cited all sorts of dire threats in her efforts to prevent LA Metro from digging a subway tunnel under Beverly Hills High School — without success. Now, with the project about to break ground, Korbatov has one last hope: an appeal to her friend in the White House. Journalists Matt Smith and Lance Williams from the Center for Investigative reporting join Alta's podcast to detail this extraordinary fight — and one extraordinary...


Underground Adventurers

Writer Zack Ruskin takes us into the underground world of urban explorers, a collection of bold adventurers who make their way, legal or not, into abandoned buildings and structures. Show notes: Zack's original article that appeared in Alta's Spring 2019 issue Tunnelbug's Instagram Tunnelbug's Flickr Reddit/Urban Exploration


The Original Girl in the Well

Historian Bill Deverell joins the Alta podcast to discuss the 1949 San Marino “girl in the well” story. Bill details of this historic piece of California history and explains how little Kathy Fiscus’ fall into a well changed the course of modern media.


Totally Over In-N-Out

Alta contributing editor Gustavo Arellano defends his distaste for In-N-Out Burger, comparing the West Coast chain to the most cliche aspects of California living and reveals his top picks for solid (and local) fast food — without the 30-minute drive-thru line.


A ride on the TMZ Celebrity Bus Tour

Quinn Cummings, a regular contributor to Alta, an author and an Oscar-nominated actress reveals all from her ride aboard a TMZ Hollywood Celebrity Tour bus — an experience we’re really curious about but not sure we could actually stomach ourselves.


Whole Earth Catalog

Journalist and author John Markoff discusses the Whole Earth Catalog, a long defunct counter-culture magazine and product catalog published by writer and entrepreneur Stewart Brand. Markoff details how the catalog came to be, why the Whole Earth Catalog was so vital, the ways it influenced Silicon Valley, and if there will ever be anything like it again.


Plight of the Honeybees

In this Alta Podcast, Byard Duncan, a journalist for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, discusses the millions of bees shipped into California’s almond orchards every winter and the criminals who make careers out of stealing them.


Brown is the New Orange County

In this week's Alta Podcast, Gustavo Arellano discusses the shifting cultural landscape of Orange County, how and why the OC changing, how politicians are responding to the shifts, and what that might mean for the rest of the state — and the country.