In conversation with… Scott Budman

Posted on September 23, 2021

By Becky Quinlan

Scott Budman has been a familiar face on Bay Area television for more than 20 years. He’s an Emmy Award-winning reporter who reports on business and technology for NBC Bay Area. An Oakland native, Scott has been with NBC Bay Area since 1995, and you can see his stories on the station’s evening newscasts. Scott is known as the go-to voice for breaking news in business and technology in Silicon Valley. You can also hear him on Bay Area radio waves updating listeners on the latest business and tech news on NPR and Alice Radio. He is also a regular blogger for Forbes as well as several other online publications.Offleash connected with Scott to learn more about how he starts his workday, the most memorable PR pitches he’s gotten, his radio DJ past, and more!

1. How do you begin your workday?

We start with a pitch meeting. This used to be in person, lately it’s all via Microsoft Teams. Each reporter and producer is expected to pitch 3-4 stories, and then the managers and producers choose what they think we should cover, and we roll from there.

2. How did you get your start in broadcasting?

I was a sportscaster on KLA Radio at UCLA. Since I had DJed a bunch during high school, I was able to DJ a radio show and at parties. (Our “Party Unit” was the only way to make money at the radio station, and as someone with a scholarship, I appreciated the extra money.) 

3. What’s the most memorable PR pitch you’ve gotten?

That’s a great question. Back in the dot-com boom when money was bananas, I’d get entire boxes of pizza, cookies, clothing, whatever — even iPods, video games, and phones. I sent so much stuff back, my bosses got ticked at the cost of postage. Anyway, nothing has ever worked better than a quick email or call from a trusted source.

4. What do you think are the must-have ingredients for a solid story?

My favorite stories are new (especially for business and tech — people don’t have patience for things they already know), interesting, easy to understand, and helpful. And, it helps a ton for us to have good visuals.

5. What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Given what I do for a living, my friends are always surprised at how little television I watch. I’m never, ever hip to the latest shows. It’s a big cultural hole for me. I read a ton, love movies (old and new), and listen to music all the time — but somehow I miss keeping up with anything on TV!

Follow Scott on Twitter @scottbudman and on Facebook at Facebook.com/ScottBudmanNBC.