When Gina Santiago first walked into the offices of KTVW-TV on December 4, 1989, she had no idea that 29 years later she would be regarded as a “pionera” of Univision Arizona.
Her introduction to Univision came as she was coordinating paid interns from a magnet program for the performing arts at South Mountain High School to run camera for a daily two-hour live morning show. She was teacher’s assistant in the SMHS TV department. In February 1991, Univision asked Gina to stay on full-time as a floor manager and production assistant for Teleradio, a weekday morning show featuring then-KTVW anchor and general manager Jose Ronstadt. Since that time, Gina has been involved in almost every aspect of putting content on the air at KTVW. She has held a variety of positions ranging from floor director, producer of the 10 p.m. and weekend newscasts, producer and editor for news series, and director for a variety of shows, including live programs TeleDia, Noticias Univision AZ and Agenda Deportiva.
Gina has produced interviews of big-name Latin artists such as Celia Cruz, Jose Jose, Alejandro Fernandez, Veronica Castro and Larry Hernandez to name a few. She has produced in-depth reports on underground cockfighting, thoroughbred horse racing and psychic phenomena. She has traveled to Sinaloa, Mexico as part of a special series on the Narco Tumbas. She also participated in a report with a Mexican historian and owner of the drug traffickers’ chapel that holds the “patron saint” of Mexican drug cartels, ‘Jesus Malverde.’ Gina’s awards include a Telly and several Rocky Mountain Emmys for editing and producing.
Nowadays, Gina spends a majority of her time at Univision Arizona as the lead in developing creative concepts for clients, coordinate production, writing and directing commercials and branding and marketing the station.
“When one seeks counsel from Gina, time stops,” says Univision Arizona anchor Heidi Renpenning. “She will attentively listen and meticulously analyze whatever you are asking her about. She is well respected and well loved by all those who know her.”
Gina is one of the two Chapter leads for Univision’s Women’s Leadership Chapter (WLC) in Arizona. She assists the WLC mission to drive growth and innovation of Univision through recruitment, development and retention of diverse leaders, by holding monthly gatherings and inviting outside guests for all members to learn and grow from.
In addition to her work at Univision Arizona, Gina was an in-show graphics operator from 1994 to 2002 for the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Coyotes and Arizona Rattlers.
In her free time, Gina gives history art classes to a local elementary school, volunteers at Ballet Arizona and has served on the governing board of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of NATAS since 2014.