There were wildfires, droughts and football games in Texas. There were controversial politics, crime and health issues in Nebraska. Untapped communities and an education overhaul in Arkansas. And there was a newsroom in need of leadership in Georgia. Leah Uko covered all of these important matters and tasks in these cities across the country and is thrilled to be back in California to cover the city that is her home.
Leah moved to Chatsworth, CA when she was 12 years old, but it was during her childhood growing up in Palmdale, CA when she developed a passion for television news. The death of Princess Diana, O.J. Simpson murder case, unsolved murder of 6-year-old pageant queen JonBenét Ramsey and the 2000 Florida recount of the Bush-Gore election captivated Leah as she watched the news coverage develop every day.
“I might not have understood the complexities of these stories, but I knew three things: people had many thoughts and feelings about the events. They were talking about those thoughts and feelings with people wherever they went. And the people on the television screen were the ones giving the information sparking these conversations.”
Joining the FOX 11 Los Angeles is special for Leah because she watched those news stories on KTTV.
“I would watch The Simpsons then evening news before my parents made me go to bed. I actually dressed up as the anchor for Halloween one year!”
Before moving back home, Leah anchored and produced the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news at WLTZ First News in Columbus, Georgia. In Columbus, she also reported on the deadly car accident of a beloved high school baseball coach whose death sparked questions on the city’s law regarding police chases within city limits.
Prior to WLTZ, Leah was a general assignment reporter with KARK 4 News/FOX 16 News in Little Rock, Arkansas. She covered the controversy of the state taking control over the Little Rock School District after six of the 48 schools in the district had been continuously on the academically distressed list. She also covered a range of education, crime and politics in the city of Pine Bluff, including its downtown area that saw buildings collapse due to property neglect.
Before moving to Little Rock, Leah covered the city of Omaha, Nebraska at FOX 42 News. She headed her own series, Restaurant Report. The series confirmed whether or not food establishments, in a city with one of the most restaurants per capita in the country, were keeping up to code with the Douglas County Health Department’s health code standards. Leah interviewed chefs, cooks and general managers at nearly 100 restaurants in the county.
In addition to the franchise, Leah covered political corruption in the city involving city council members who were spending campaign money to support gambling addictions. She was also assigned to cover different controversial deaths of a children who were killed due to gang violence on Omaha’s north side.
Leah also focused a lot on covering the ongoing issue of increasing STD rates in Omaha.
She started her career in television journalism in Bryan/College Station, Texas at the NBC affiliate, KAGS. There she learned how to find, cover, shoot and edit news stories, including raging wildfires and Texas A&M’s switching over to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and hiring its first Black football head coach, Kevin Sumlin.
What Leah loves about television journalism is that it bridges gaps between all kinds of people.
“An elderly white man, gay woman, 8-year-old child and young, Hispanic woman can all be standing in a long line at the grocery store.”
“Their silence can break and conversation can flourish by small-talking about what’s going on in their city’s government, schools, sports and weather. News gives everyone something to talk about with one another no matter where we come from. It helps makes strangers acquaintances by keeping folks informed.”
Leah got her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Journalism and Communications from the University of California, Riverside. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated.
Leah is a National Physique Committee (NPC) figure competitor bodybuilder who seeks to motivate girls, teenage women and young women to find their confidence and self-worth through fitness and becoming physically strong.
She admits, the plethora of good restaurants in LA are making it hard to eat chicken and asparagus all day. During her free time, Leah explores new gyms in the city and spends time with her family and friends who all live right here in Southern California.
Leah is always looking for a story and community event where she can get involved. She loves social media and asks you stay in contact with her via phone, email, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.