Journalists Eric Leonard, Lolita Lopez, Josh Underwood-Davis join the I-Team to increase footprint in the Southland
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA (May 10, 2018) – NBC4 Southern California / KNBC has expanded its award-winning investigative team to further increase its footprint to expose wrong-doing and help consumers find justice. Now the largest broadcast investigative team in Southern California, the station welcomed veteran Investigative Reporter Eric Leonard who is focused on government corruption and high-profile crimes. Another addition to the team is Lolita Lopez, who will double down on enterprising stories that go beyond the headlines and delve deeper into regional issues. NBC4 has also recruited long-time NBC News producer, Josh Underwood-Davis, to its investigative unit.
“NBC4’s ongoing investment in investigative stories continues to greatly impact thousands of viewers every year,” said Todd Mokhtari, Vice President of News. “NBC4 has built a robust reputation uncovering wrong-doing that has led to viewer refunds and savings of millions of dollars, and is changing local and state-wide policies for the better.”
Leonard, a Los Angeles native, has earned several industry awards as an investigative reporter for more than 20 years in local radio and television. At KFI AM 640, he delivered live news reports and long-form coverage on countless major stories, including the Michael Jackson death trial, Phil Spector and Robert Blake murder trials, and the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Emmy-award winning Lopez has been with NBC4 since 2011 covering breaking news throughout Southern California. She is behind several high profile stories, including Los Angeles Unified School District security measures in light of the recent Sal Castro Middle School shooting and the 13 Perris children held in captivity. Most notably, since 2013, Lopez has covered every development of the brutal death of Palmdale child Gabriel Fernandez by his mother and boyfriend, including critical mistakes made by the Department of Children and Family Services.
The station has also added investigative producer Underwood-Davis to the team, whose career spans 15 years. Underwood-Davis previously worked at NBC News where he was supervising producer for the nationally acclaimed ‘Rossen Reports’ regularly featured on the TODAY show and Nightly News. A graduate of Arizona State University, his career began in local television as a reporter and anchor in the Midwest and East Coast.
Leonard and Lopez join longtime NBC4 Investigative Reporter Joel Grover and Consumer Investigator Randy Mac, both known for hard-hitting reports on a variety of issues important to local consumers. Grover is renowned for exposing the Los Angeles County Health Department's restaurant inspection program prompting creation of the A-B-C grading systems that is now ubiquitous across all local eateries.
Mac, Southern California’s leading consumer watchdog, has recovered or saved viewers more than two million dollars thanks to his probing reports. NBC4’s consumer team, along with sister NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ consumer investigative units have collectively recovered more than $20 million for thousands of consumers who claimed they were wronged.
Most recently, Mac reported on the medical debt crisis plaguing local residents throughout the Southland due to injuries and life-threatening diagnoses. Watch the story here. Across the nation, medical debt is the number one reason people file for bankruptcy. In the spirit of helping our communities, NBC4 and NBC and Telemundo owned stations across the country have partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a national non-profit, to help abolish more than $15 million in medical debt across the country. For those interested in supporting those with crippling medical debt, they can visit www.nbclosangeles.com/medicaldebt to make a donation online.
For more exclusive stories, tune in to NBC4 daily during the NBC4 News at 4, 5, 6 and 11 p.m. Consumers who have specific complaints about a third party entity, an ongoing dispute they are experiencing, or would like to provide tips to the I-Team can visit www.nbcla.com/investigations to submit complete details.
About NBC4 Southern California
NBC4 Southern California is the West Coast flagship station of the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, serving the vast region since 1949. NBC4 produces 43 hours each week of local news and weather, and the station features the largest award-winning investigative unit in Southern California. NBC4’s news operation has received nearly every industry award bestowed on local news, including numerous Los Angeles Emmy and Golden Mike Awards, two national and two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and a Peabody Award. NBC4 news is delivered across the main broadcast on channel 4, atwww.nbcla.com, and through multiple interactive social media platforms 24/7. The NBC Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal, also operates COZI TV (www.cozitv.com), a national network that brings viewers some of America’s most beloved and iconic television shows and movies.
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Terri Hernandez Rosales