Featured Profile

Mike Pesca
Reporter, National Desk
NPR

Mike Pesca first came to NPR's attention not as a reporter, but as the network's supplier of gravel. You know how often you hear the sound of a person in an NPR report walking over gravel? Well, that gravel has to come from some where, and for many years it came from the Pesca family business. Bank gravel, bench gravel, Piedmont gravel, lag gravel. Pesco Gravel Co. LLP had it all. One day, as Mike was observing Alex Chadwick sift through different types of gravel, even debating if pebble would be preferable, Mike had an epiphany: 'Why not me? I can tell a story, I can get people to talk, and I certainly know the best types of gravel to get people to walk over.'

So in 1997, Mike began his work in radio, as a low level producer at WNYC. He wound up working on the NPR and WNYC program On The Media, and eventually served as the New York correspondent for NPR's midday newsmagazine Day to Day, a job that has brought him to the campaign trail, political conventions, hurricane zones, and the Manolo Blahnik shoe sale. Mike also was the first NPR reporter to have his own podcast, a weekly look at gambling cleverly titled "On Gambling with Mike Pesca."

He first reached the airwaves as a 10-year-old caller to a New York Jets-themed radio show, and has now parlayed his interests into full time sports coverage for NPR. Though joining NPR in order to one day become a sports reporter has been likened to moving to France to learn Mandarin, Pesca enjoys training his microphone on anything that occurs at a track, arena, stadium, park, fronton, velodrome or air strip (i.e. the plane drag during the World's Strongest Man competition).

Pesca, whose writing has appeared in Slate and the Washington Post, is the winner of the Edward R. Murrow award for best radio feature and the 1993 Emory University Softball official of the year. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Robin, sons Milo and Emmett, and their dog Rumsfeld. A believer in full disclosure, he rates his favorite teams as the Jets, Mets, St. Johns Red Storm and Knicks, teams he has covered fairly and without favor despite the fact that they have given him a combined one championship during his lifetime as a fully cognizant human.

In his spare time, he enjoys telling lies about gravel.