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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Alicia Ybarbo, two-time Emmy award-winning producer

Alicia Ybarbo is a two-time Emmy award-winning producer. She grew up in the northern California town of Woodland and graduated from the University of California at Davis. While a senior at UC Davis, Alicia did an internship at the Today Show in 1992 and fell in love with television. Following her graduation in 1993, she moved to New York and joined the NBC Page Program. While a Page, she worked in several different departments including the Today Show and NBC Sports. At the completion of the program, Alicia took a full-time job in the Sports Department where she coordinated feature shoots, segments for live television and assisted producers.

After 2 years at NBC Sports, she got a job at The View. There she produced segments with such people as Samuel L. Jackson, Pamela Anderson, Mary Tyler Moore. She remained at The View until 1999, when she returned to NBC and the Today Show where she's been for nine years. Alicia produces segments that run the gammit from fashion to news to publishing to cooking. While at Today, Alicia (and her colleague Mary Ann Zoellner) authored their first book, "Today's Moms: Essentials for Surviving Baby's First Year". In it, on-air talent including Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Amy Robach and Tiki Barber contribute their anecdotes about baby's first year, and NBC contributors (like Dr. Gail Saltz/psychiatry, Joy Bauer/nutrition, Jean Chatzky/finance and Lloyd Boston/style) share parenting advice related to their respective fields.

Alicia currently lives in New York City with her husband, Mark Zimmerman, and their two young children. Whom You know is so pleased to present her as our latest Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Alicia Ybarbo for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What do you enjoy most about working on the Today Show?
Alicia Ybarbo: The saying that "TODAY is America's First TV Family" is really quite true. From the on-air talent to the contributors on the show to my colleagues who I work with behind the scenes, it's a tight knit group. We cover so much news and entertainment in those four hours. As much news that we're covering, we're also very involved in each other's lives and families. We've planned weddings together, thrown baby showers for one another, and these days we're swapping maternity clothes and children's hand-me-downs...

What would surprise viewers about the show that would not be apparent from watching it as an outsider?
Most people who come on a studio tour are really surprised by how small it is. It's a very compact space, but we get a lot done in those four hours every day. The people who hang out in the plaza are there rain or shine, and the talent have a blast talking to them, taking pictures, and signing autographs.

What are you proudest of in your television career?
I am proudest of my time at TODAY. I have grown the most during this time - both professionally and personally. When I started at TODAY in 2000 I was newly married. My husband and I now have two young children. Although I'm still challenged with each and every segment that I come up with or am assigned, each one is approached with a more relaxed and confident attitude. In addition, writing the book, "TODAY'S MOMS: Essentials for Surviving Baby's First Year," was a unique four-year writing challenge. I'm so excited it's been published.

How did you get the idea for your book?
My colleague Mary Ann Zoellner called me from an airport during the Thanksgiving holiday. She was approached by a few women in the airport who were curious about the stroller/car seat that she was traveling with. She realized that most of the information she knew about parenting was learned from friends in the office. When she called me she shrieked that we needed to write a book to help other moms feel more confident about their first year of motherhood. That was four years ago. We've been working nonstop ever since...

What is your favorite place to be in NYC?
Walking in Central Park or down Madison Avenue. If I don't have a segment I love walking to work in the morning. It gives me the chance to get some exercise, breathe in a little fresh air and rock out to my ipod. It clears my head and gets me energized for the day... and depending on the day, I'll either walk down Madison Avenue (after dropping my children off at school) or through Central Park.

What is your favorite shop?
I love finding one of a kind items at thrift and consignment shops. Housing Works is great and right in my neighborhood... Of course, you have to be in the mood for that kind of shopping, but nothing beats finding a deal.

What is your favorite restaurant?
I would love to say someplace chic and cool, say downtown, but that's not me. I usually stick to places between work and home, like Rouge Tomate on East 60th ... Otherwise, my hubbie and I love Amber and Luke's on 3rd Avenue, right in our neighborhood.

What is your favorite NYC book?
A children's book by the name, "The House on East 88th Street, " by Bernard Waber. We all just love the Lyle The Crocodile book series. They're such a hit with my family. I wish we had a tea loving, singing & dancing crocodile living with us!

What is your favorite thing to do in NYC that you can do nowhere else?
My family and I love to take a subway down to Little Italy for the day. After walking around a bit we'll hit one of the restaurants in Little Italy or Chinatown for lunch ... then we'll grab some Italian cookies, while walking over to Soho for a little shopping.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? Check out to find out more information about my new book, TODAY'S MOMS: Essentials For Surviving Baby's First Year".

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