Upper Midwest Emmy® Silver Circle Honoree – Jodi Ritacca Carlini

Jodi Ritacca Carlini
Carlini Entertainment
Woodbury, MN

Jodi Ritacca Carlini – Carlini Entertainment

Jodi Ritacca Carlini has worked in the Twin Cities media for more than 25 years and has been an eyewitness to local, state and national news for 45 years. As an award-winning journalist Jodi has worked as a TV news reporter, anchor, show & field producer, News Director, cable TV host & producer, Independent documentary & video producer, and online co-moderator and producer of live webcasts on the Internet. She’s received four Upper Midwest Emmy® Awards and seventeen Emmy® Nominations from 1998-2018.

Jodi grew up north of Chicago and traveled extensively in Europe, Africa and throughout the U.S. before starting college at the University of Idaho, where wrote her first published news story on the 1974 “wedding of the year” titled ‘When Henry Ford’s Son Marries.” Jodi also filmed, wrote and edited stories for college broadcasts there and later at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she graduated with a BS in Broadcast Journalism.

Also while in college, Jodi wrote daily TV evening news copy and conducted on-camera interviews during her internships at KOA –TV (now KCNC-TV) and KMGH-TV in Denver. At CU School of Journalism as a student council member, she was among students who helped create and start the university’s first school newspaper, “Working Press.’

Five months into her first TV job as a reporter/anchor/producer at KNOP-TV, in North Platte, Nebraska, Jodi was named acting News Director in 1979, and was one of the first female TV News Directors in the country. She went on to serve as News Director for ten years. In 1988, KNOP-TV 6pm newscasts had the highest rating in the country.

During her tenure at KNOP-TV, Jodi served as a panelist and moderator on several state, congressional, senatorial debates in the 1980s & 1990s. She also received the “Law Day Award’ from Nebraska’s 13th Judicial District for her coverage of courts in 1992, and Jodi was also instrumental in getting the Nebraska State Supreme Court to allow for the first time in Nebraska courts a two-year experiment of audio coverage of criminal trials. She also contributed to our industry by serving as 1992 President of Nebraska’s AP Broadcasters, the Nebraska Broadcasters Freedom of Information Committee member, and Northwest News Broadcasters Association Member and RTNDA member 1983-1992. She served on community boards including the Regional 9 Emergency Planning Committee (SARA).

From 1992-2003, Jodi wrote and produced daily health and medical news stories and a health segment for the evening news at KSTP-TV. Her medical news story received a 1998-1999 Chicago/Midwest Chapter Emmy® nomination for “Logan” a story about a little boy with rare deadly disease. Jodi received her first Upper Midwest Emmy® in 2002-2003 for coverage as a producer for coverage of U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone’s fatal plane crash.

From 2004-2015, Jodi was senior public relations specialist/media producer at HealthEast Care System. In 2005, Jodi reported and produced health stories for “Minnesota Ingredients,” which broadcasted on Sunday mornings on KARE11.
The most memorable ‘broadcasts’ of her career involved moderating and producing live coverage of surgeries on the Internet to educate the general public and medical professionals. Jodi interacted with viewers around the world with questions for the surgeons. She received a 2007 Regional Emmy® Award for producing an innovative back surgery webcast and a 2007 Regional Emmy® Nomination for moderating it.

Since 2005, Jodi has written, produced and hosted a health and medical cable TV show, “Inside Health Care,” which broadcasts on more than a dozen Twin Cities cable TV stations and received a 2010 Upper Midwest Emmy®.

Jodi has served on the Upper Midwest Emmy® Chapter Board of Governors since 2011, as Awards Chair 2013-2015, and as Board President 2016-2019. She’s also made significant contributions to our next generation of broadcast professionals often speaking to students at local colleges and high schools, mentoring students and since 2015 created an annual scholarship for deserving Upper Midwest broadcasting students in honor of Jodi’s father-in-law, Ulysses Carlini, a pioneer in television. In 2018, Jodi and the Upper Midwest Emmy® Foundation helped create an endowment to help educate and support area students with scholarships in the future.

Jodi actively supports many worthy causes in our communities including producing pro bono videos that helped raised more than $500,000 for local charities and non-profits including St. Paul Fire Foundation, Cancer Benefit Fund and many others.
Greg Carlini, Jodi’s husband of 35 years, directed her evening 6pm newscasts for more than a decade. They have two adult children, Christina (Tyler Souter) and Joe and two young grandchildren, Aiden (5) & Amira (3) Souter. In 2015, Jodi and their son Joe received an Upper Midwest Emmy® for a very personal short documentary about his Grandpa Carlini.