Leyla Santiago

Leyla Santiago


Professional Experience:
Leyla joined the WRAL team in October of 2012. She began her career as an assignment editor at WCJB in Gainesville, Florida. In 2006, Leyla took on her first reporting gig at NBC29 in Charlottesville,VA. Two years later, she traveled to the northwest to report at KTUU in Anchorage, AK. In 2009, she joined the team at KBAK/KBFX in Bakersfield, CA, as a morning anchor.

Awards & Recognition:
Leyla won the prestigious Alfred I. DuPont Journalism award for the WRAL documentary, The Journey Alone. She has won Emmy awards for her coverage of wildfires in California in 2010 and the crippling winter storm that hit Raleigh in 2014. Her writing and political reporting has also been nominated for Emmy awards. In 2011, the Associated Press presented her with the Mark Twain award for best anchor.

News Philosophy:
As journalists, I believe it’s our job to provide accurate and balanced information in context. Perspective can be one of the most important things we can provide our viewers.

Public Relations, 2005, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

Columbia, S.C. (birthplace Santurce, Puerto Rico)

Hobbies, Interests & Community Involvement:
I love running, journaling, traveling, reading. I'm also obsessed with coffee, butterflies, Nutella, tulips, Snickers bars and the Florida Gators.

Married to Zac

Favorite Books:
I like reading non-fiction, specifically biographies. A few of my favorites: "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years" and "Felisa Rincon De Gautier: The Mayor of San Juan"

Likes Best About North Carolina:
From the mountains to the beaches, I love the natural beauty of North Carolina.

Most Memorable Assignments:
My most memorable assignments are defined by the incredible people I have met while reporting. I will never forget the determined Native Alaskans fighting global warming and record-high energy costs on the island of Shishmaref in 2008. I will never forget the women and children filled with fear as they crossed the U.S./Mexico border to flee violence in central America in 2014. I will never forget the resilient people of Cuba hoping a new relationship with the U.S. would bring change to the island nation in 2015. The people, not the politics, at the center of these stories fascinate and inspire me.