Linda Kim is an Emmy nominated producer and booker at E! Networks. She's extremely accomplished in the field of entertainment news, with work experiences at Universal Music Publishing Group and Entertainment Tonight as well. We spoke with Linda about her career journey, her passions for cooking and reading, and advice for aspiring entertainment news producers. Check out her profile feature below!
Q: If you could go back to your college days at UC Irvine, is there anything you would do differently? Favorite college memories?
Linda: “One of my biggest regrets was not doing a study abroad program. Two of my friends went to Italy and I wish I could have joined them. I definitely encourage any sort of traveling and studying abroad to have more experiences (hopefully traveling more can happen soon!)– and just be adventurous in general and go out of your comfort zone. It’s important to try new things and have new and enriching experiences. My favorite memories were meeting some of my closest friends and all the fun we had together - from late nights of eating and chatting to random road trips – they really made my college experience fun. I also got to act in my first play and intern at a record label - two things I never thought I would be doing.”
Q: How did you decide what you wanted to pursue as a career? And what characteristics do you find most important to succeed as a producer?
Linda: “I always loved entertainment and in high school, I told myself that I will go to the Oscars one day. I interned at a record label and decided I wanted to pursue a career in the music industry, which led me to my first job at Universal Music Publishing. It was during that time that I realized I still had a desire to work in TV, so I applied to work at Entertainment Tonight. Now at E!, my work involves both of my passions of music and producing so I’m very lucky. If you want to succeed as a producer, you need to know how to multi-task, think on the spot, and have a sense of urgency. Being detail-oriented is important but you never know what can happen in the middle of filming or on a red carpet - something can change last minute and you need to know how to deal with it right away.”
Q: What is your favorite interview you have ever worked on? And what do you look for when pitching a new idea or creating your interview questions?
Linda: “This is hard because I have so many favorites! One favorite was when we sat down with each of the members of One Direction – it was a rare opportunity to chat with them individually and we ended up making it into a half hour special. My favorite shoots are when we can go behind the scenes of something. It’s fun trying to do something active with talent and to see them do something they are passionate about. Some other favorites include getting a stage tour with Kelly Clarkson, in the recording studio with Eminem, and backstage at Kanye West’s concert. I also got to work on some fun cooking shoots with Ayesha Curry and Antoni Porowski - I love anything that involves cooking and food.
When I am pitching a new idea, I look for newer talent and see who is buzz-worthy - for me, it’s important to try and talk to people as they are emerging to build that relationship with that talent. I also look at who is currently trending, who has an interesting story to tell, or what’s newsworthy at that time. I watch previous interviews, read articles, look on talent’s social accounts, and research while I write interview questions – I want them to reflect on funny incidents and expand more on something they shared. I think about what would be interesting to see as a viewer but also what we want to see as a news organization.”
Q: Your hobbies include cooking and reading! We love your food account @delish_thoughts! Favorite recipe? Favorite book?
Linda: “I love cooking and trying new recipes. My go-to dishes to make are avocado toast, stuffed mushrooms, spicy fusilli, eggplant parmesan, and kimchi fried rice. I also love making a charcuterie board – it’s one of my favorite things to make. For books, I love poetry books like Orion Carloto’s Flux, Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, Cleo Wade’s Heart Talk. Some other recent favorites are Little Fires Everywhere and Just Mercy."
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
Linda: “We got to grant a young girl’s wish to be a red carpet correspondent through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. My co-worker and I helped make it happen to have her be on the carpet at a premiere – we got her glammed up and she got to interview stars on the red carpet. To see someone’s wish come true and to see her excitement made me very emotional and proud. I’m also proud to be an Emmy nominated producer.”
Q: What advice would you give to people who are interested in a career in entertainment?
Linda: “My advice is don’t be afraid to speak up and be heard. I spent a lot of my early career just quietly getting my work done. I have never been outspoken and just made sure to get the work done. There were times where I felt like my hard work was overlooked or taken for granted. I was afraid to speak up and ask for raises and get what I deserved. I encourage everyone to be proud, be bold, and speak up.”
Q: What do you root your identity in?
Linda: “This is an interesting question because it’s something I am currently struggling with and trying to figure out. I realized during quarantine that my identity revolved around work and my social life. I kept myself busy with work - going to work events, working weekends, and making constant plans with friends. When all of that was taken away during quarantine, I found myself just alone at home and really having to face myself. I always made sure to have a busy schedule but that took away from self-care and finding real happiness. This is the time where I am trying to figure out who I am, what my true passions are, and what I can do to be happy. One thing I am very thankful for always but especially during this time are my friends and church community - they keep me uplifted with their support and encouragement.”
Thank you for chatting with us Linda! Linda is wearing our Just Right Cardigan in Ivory Marled from our Fall 2020 collection.
Photography by Linda Kim