Women In Baseball: Alanna Rizzo

Alanna Rizzo
Alanna Rizzo covers the Los Angeles Dodgers and is co-host of the pregame show for SportsNet LA. Her journey in broadcast journalism has included working for the MLB Network, CBS and others. We had the opportunity to reach out to Rizzo for a Q&A session.
CC: You earned a degree in business before returning to the University of Colorado at Boulder to earn your master’s degree in broadcast journalism. What caused you to change course and pursue broadcast journalism?
Growing up I always had a passion for sports as a participant as well as a spectator.  I never imagined it as a career until much later in my adult life.  Between Christmas and the new year of 2001, I had an epiphany.  I asked myself if I could do any job in the world, if money wasn’t an object, what would it be? Because of my passion and interest for sports, I decided to pursue a career in Broadcast Journalism with an emphasis in sports. I started out in market 142 in Wichita Falls, TX and after working in Madison, WI (market 82) and then Denver, Colo., (market 18), I went to MLB Network and am now in my 4th season covering the Los Angeles Dodgers.  I wanted a career that I was passionate about, not just a job to pass time between 8-5.

CC: You’ve worked for the MLB Network, CBS, Root Sports and currently SportsNet LA. How has each experience molded you into who you are today? 

Root Sports Rocky Mountain (Formerly FSN Rocky Mountain when I started there), gave me an opportunity to learn and grow in a Top 20 market in my home state.  When I started covering the Rockies in 2007, I barely knew what a sinker ball pitcher was. I learned on the job and the opportunity to cover my alma mater as well as Denver University in addition to the Colorado Rockies, for 5 seasons, was really a dream realized.  Root Sports allowed me to exercise my reporting muscles.  I thought that I would stay in Denver forever.  MLB Network called and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work at a national network.  MLB Network gave me the opportunity to work with the best professionals in the industry.  The caliber of producers, directors and researchers is second to none. I learned how to host shows off the cuff, with no script, prompter or crutches. I learned how to think on the fly and to be ready for anything.  MLB Network allowed me to exercise my studio muscles. SportsNet LA has been a tremendous combination of the two previous jobs.  I co-host an hour long pregame show and I get to cover a team on a daily basis. It’s the best of both worlds with reporting and hosting both, as primary job responsibilities.

 CC: Throughout your career, you’ve enjoyed a variety of experiences. Which ones stand out the most? Why?

One of the top highlights of my career is co-hosting the MLB Network Red Carpet Show for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game.  Interviewing the game’s best on the red carpet on 42nd Street in NYC, was something I’ll never forget.
I have had the pleasure of witnessing 5 no-hitters in person and being a team reporter for the Rockies and Dodgers when Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Beckett & Clayton Kershaw threw their no-nos.  Some people aren’t fortunate to witness one in person. I feel lucky I’ve seen 5 and covered 3.
Covering a team that makes it into the postseason never gets old.  The Rockies in 2007, 2009 and the Dodgers in 2014, 2015, 2016, have all been a pleasure.
My time covering the World Baseball Classic and the postseason for MLB Network, will always be fond memories.

CC: In 2015, you received the “HOPE Rising” award for your leadership, innovation, and representation of the Latina community. What has that honor meant to you?

Anytime you’re given an award by your peers, it is humbling.  Being a woman in a male dominated industry is a challenge but I have never felt being a woman has been a disadvantage or an advantage.  I work hard. Bottom line.  I’m glad that I can be a role model to young women in any community.  I hope they can see that hard work and perseverance pay off, regardless of gender.

CC: Vin Scully is widely considered the greatest baseball broadcaster in history. What was it like to work with a legendary figure in the sport?
Working in Vin’s presence for 3 seasons was an absolute privilege.   Vin is as kind a human as he appears on TV.  He is genuine, humble, professional and an absolute delight.  I’m honored to have been mentioned in the same broadcast team as the greatest that has ever been in front of a microphone.

CC: Many women struggle with the industry or are looking to break into sports journalism. What’s your advice for those women?

Be prepared and work hard.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions to learn more about your subject matter.  Know your material, take chances and grow thick skin.

About The Author

Creator of Clubhouse Corner, Doug has been covering Minor League Baseball since 2014. His work has been featured on YES Network-affiliated Pinstriped Prospects, Heels on the Field and Pinstripe Alley.