On air with radio host and podcaster


Instructional assistant Sam Alex announces at the varsity softball game on March 20. Alex hosted a radio show interviewing many celebrities including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez and Bill Clinton. Photo by Kate Leverenz

On the red carpet at the White House Correspondents Dinner, actor Ashton Kutcher and instructional assistant Sam Alex shared a joke that they looked like twins. Both wore corduroy jackets, white shirts and dark green ties.

Alex has attended many red carpets to conduct interviews for the Nashville-based radio show, “Taste of Country Nights.” Alex also hosts a podcast, “The Sam Alex Show.” His work on these programs has earned him numerous honors, such as Illinois State University’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award and a nomination from the Country Music Association, also known as CMA, for the National Broadcast Personality of the Year award.

“This past year, being nominated for a CMA award … I never thought that would happen,” said Alex. “I thought, ‘No, that’s for people that know someone or [have] done it for 50 years.’ So [that] definitely surpassed what my dreams were.”

Alex has interviewed celebrities such as singer-songwriter Taylor Swift and NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers. A 2008 interview that Alex found particularly memorable was with former President Bill Clinton. 

“[Clinton’s team] said no official interviews, but I just said two words, he walked right over to me, and we got to do an interview,” said Alex. “The two words were, ‘Go Razorbacks!’ because he’s a die-hard University of Arkansas fan.” 

As a radio host, Alex has developed an appreciation for conversation.

“I just love talking with people, and I’ve found that red carpets are the most organic way, where you’ll never know who you’ll talk to next,” Alex said. 

Alex is the founder of Camp Broadcast, a weeklong master class designed for aspiring broadcasters, which was featured on the “Today” show and “Good Morning America.” Campers interview an industry expert or celebrity, who then offers feedback and advice. American Idol winner Scotty McCreery served as an interview source during the camp’s first year. 

McCreery said in an email correspondence that camp attendees were well on their way to gaining the skills necessary to become broadcasting professionals. 

“I like how Sam is mentoring and training the next generation of broadcasters,”said McCreery.“He is a great example of what the students are working towards becoming.” 

From a young age, Alex gravitated towards performance. In his elementary years, he emceed talent shows and made announcements at assemblies. As a senior at Hoffman Estates High School, Alex sought to garner professional broadcasting experience.

“I was just 18, and I applied to over 50 media outlets, everywhere in a two-hour radius of Chicago, every radio and TV station,” said Alex. “I was like, ‘Hey, I’m ready, I’m super passionate and I want to do this.’”

Alex was born in the Chicago area to a family of teachers. His upbringing, intertwined with his desire to raise his children at home, brought him to Glenbrook North after moving back to Illinois from Nashville in 2016. 

“Now I get to do the best of both worlds,” said Alex. “Two dreams: raising kids in my family and the dream job of my syndicated radio show.”