Lilia Luciano

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Lilia Luciano
Closeup White Background.png
Born (1984-10-12) October 12, 1984 (age 33)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Nationality American
Education University of Miami
Occupation Journalist, columnist, film producer, literacy advocate
Years active 2004 - present
  • Luis Alayo
    (m. 2007; div. 2009)

Lilia Luciano (born October 12, 1984) is an award winning television investigative journalist, filmmaker and public speaker. In 2018 her coverage of the Northern California Wildfires of 2018 received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuous Coverage.[1] Luciano won two regional Emmys in 2018 for California Wildfires coverage and one for her documentary Puerto Rico Rises, which she directed and produced for ABC Sacramento, a TEGNA station.[2] [3] In 2013 Luciano was also awarded a GLAAD award for her coverage of homophobia in U.S. Hispanic media.[4] [5][6] Luciano is the investigative reporter at ABC 10 in Sacramento, California.[7] She is the director and producer of Wars of Others, an HBO Latino documentary film about the consequences of the U.S. War on Drugs on Colombian farmers[8] and the founder of CoInspire, an interview series about entrepreneurship in partnership with Rokk3r Labs.[9] She has worked as a host and contributor at various VICE platforms in English and Spanish.[10][11] Previously, she worked as a national news correspondent for NBC News's The Today Show, Nightly News with Brian Williams and MSNBC.[12] She is a TEDx speaker[13] and contributing columnist for Huffington Post writing both in English and Spanish about issues concerning the Hispanic community,[14] the War on Drugs[15] and Human Rights.[16] She servers the advisory council[17] of United Nations Foundation's Girl Up initiative. She has served as a moderator at the Oslo Freedom Forum Human Rights conferences since 2016.[18]


As an investigative reporter at ABC 10, Luciano has uncovered patterns of corruption in family court through an ongoing multipart series.[19] She has run investigations on sex trafficking[20], low teacher diversity[21], campaign financing[22], police shootings, including daily coverage of the shooting of Stephon Clark in 2018.[23] Her HBO documentary film, released in 2016 uncovers the social, environmental and health impacts of aerial spraying in Colombia.[24] [25]

As a VICE News host, she investigated the oil and gas industry's impact on Louisiana's loss of coastal land. [26] [27] At VICELAND's Black Market Dispatches, Luciano embedded with a caravan of gasoline smugglers, hiding in a racing car filled with 400 galons of contraband gasoline.[28]


In 2018, Luciano was awarded a Regional Edward R Murrow Award for Continuous Coverage of the Northern California Wildfires [29]. Luciano has been nominated for 5 Northern California Emmys, one in 2017 and four in 2018. The stories nominated include coverage of the California Wildfires, the medical benefits of psychedelics, the rise of the YIMBY movement, and her documentary about colonialism and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. [30]


Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Luciano attended Tufts University in Massachusetts to study pre-medicine. In 2003, she transferred to the University of Miami, where she graduated in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in economics and broadcast journalism.

Early years[edit]

While at the University of Miami, Luciano interned with Telemundo where she produced and anchored a finance and economics segment for Telemundo Internacional. After graduating from The University of Miami, Luciano was hired by Univision Networks as correspondent and co-anchor for evening newscast En Vivo y Directo.


Luciano joined NBC News in December 2010 from Univision network where she served as co-host of a live daily program and as a correspondent for the top-rated show Aquí y Ahora.[31] Previously, she was a co-host from 2006 to 2010 at Escandalo TV (Scandal TV), a spicy Spanish gossip show at TeleFutura Network.

NBC News[edit]

Hurricane Irene[edit]

In August 2011 Lilia Luciano covered Hurricane Irene from Nassau, Bahamas for NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today Show, MSNBC, The Weather Channel, CNBC and Telemundo. She went on to cover the storm's trail of devastation in North Carolina.[32]|

Casey Anthony trial[edit]

During the summer of 2011 Luciano covered the Casey Anthony first-degree murder trial in Orlando, Florida for MSNBC and the Today Show. Luciano reported live from the Orange County courthouse throughout the six-week trial. At midnight on July 17, she gave a special breaking news report on MSNBC to announce Anthony's release from prison.[33]

Joran Van der Sloot trial[edit]

On January 2012 Luciano was the only national correspondent from the major networks covering the murder trial against Joran Van der Sloot in Lima, Peru for both Today Show, and Telemundo, obtaining exclusive interviews with the victim's family and government authorities in Lima.[34][35][36]

University of Virginia lacrosse murder trial[edit]

On February 22, 2012 Luciano reported for Today, MSNBC and Comcast Sports on the first degree murder trial against University of Virginia Lacrosse captain George Huguely, convicted in the death of his girlfriend Yeardly Love.[37]

Trayvon Martin shooting[edit]

Luciano was one of the national television reporters on the scene in Sanford, Florida covering this story.[38][39]


On May 2, 2012 it was announced that Luciano had been fired by NBC News, after it was found that the audio portion of the Trayvon Martin 9-1-1 call was edited in a manner that did not reflect the nature of the conversation and had the appearance of George Zimmerman making an unprompted statement that Martin was black instead as his direct answer to the 911 dispatcher's questions. NBC dismissed the producer responsible for editing the piece and also dismissed Luciano for the oversight.[40][41]


On May 2, 2012, it was reported that Luciano was no longer with NBC News. It was initially unclear if she was dismissed or resigned, but it was reported later she was let go.[42] The unnamed veteran NBC News producer and the local reporter, Jeff Burnside, responsible for editing the piece where the mistake appeared originally were previously fired.[41]

All of Luciano's reports on the Trayvon Martin story which contained the misleading edit were removed from the Today website.[43]

NBC News president Steve Capus told Reuters that the edit, made by a Miami-based producer, was "a mistake and not a deliberate act to misrepresent the phone call." The network claimed that it was done in order to meet a maximum time requirement for the piece, a common pressure in morning television. The producer was subsequently fired and NBC News apologized for the error, though not on the air, stating it was an "editing error in the production process."[40]

On December 6, 2012, Luciano was named as a defendant in a defamation lawsuit filed against NBC by George Zimmerman with regard to the selective editing of Zimmerman's 911 call.[44] Zimmerman's criminal trial concluded with a "not guilty" jury verdict and acquittal on July 13, 2013, allowing his lawsuit to proceed.[45] Zimmerman's lawsuit against NBC and his subsequent appeal were both dismissed in Florida courts.[46]

Non-profit work[edit]

Since 2013 Luciano has served on the Advisory Board of the United Nations Foundation Girl Up Campaign.[47] She is a Today I am Brave Speaker series. [48]

In 2009, she founded a media campaign named "aprende más!", which seeks to promote education and the importance of reading among children in Ibero-American countries. Luciano also hosts a video blog Una Voz, which tackles current events and issues affecting Hispanics today. Lilia is also the executive editor of Opina Magazine, an annual online publication that promotes the arts.[49]

In 2010 she served as spokesperson to the Univision and Bill Gates Foundation's Education Campaign, "Es El Momento", as well as a supporter and collaborator with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Walk Now for Autism.[50]

Feature Documentaries[edit]

Luciano is the director and producer of Guerras Ajenas, the first documentary film by HBO Latinoamérica.[51]

Personal life[edit]

Luciano married Luis Alayo, a Catalonian banker, on December 28, 2007.[52] The couple divorced 18 months later citing irreconcilable differences.[53][54]

Other facts[edit]

Luciano is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists In 2010, Cosmopolitan Magazine featured Luciano on their November 2010 cover.

In 2009, People en Español selected Luciano in their 50 Most Beautiful people issue.[55][56]


  1. ^
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  5. ^ "Lilia Luciano Defended Human Rights As Speaker In "SIME"". LatinWe. 7 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Nexus Global Youth Summit, Nexus Program Brief" (PDF). New York. 22 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Lilia Luciano". ABC10 KXTV. 4 May 2017. 
  8. ^ "Premiere of Wars of Others, First HBO Documentary Completely Filmed in Colombia". Proimágenes Colombia. 25 July 2017. Elizabeth Gray and Lilia Luciano were producers for LatinWE 
  9. ^ "Rokk3r Labs, journalist Lilia Luciano launch Coinspire, a video series with groundbreaking entrepreneurs". The Starting Gate. Miami Herald. 7 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Lo último de Lilia Lucianoe". Vice News. 2015. 
  11. ^ Luciano, Lilia (29 August 2015). "Oil And Water, Louisiana's Coastal Crisis" (Video). YouTube. Vice News. 
  12. ^ "Lilia Luciano Joins NBC News as Miami-Based Correspondent". NBC Press release. NBCUniversal. 11 October 2010. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Ponentes TEDxManagua 2013". TEDxManagua. 9 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Operación Tolerancia: la lucha contra la homofobia en los Medios Hispanos". The Huffington Post. 10 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Wars of Others". The Huffington Post. 5 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Lilia Luciano bio". The Huffington Post. 
  17. ^ "Advisory Board - Girl Up". Girl Up. Retrieved 2015-08-07. 
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  31. ^ Chris Ariens (21 June 2011). "Telemundo Anchor crosses over on MSNBC". TVNewser. WebMediaBrands, Inc. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  32. ^ "Trees and reporter rocked by Irene winds video". MSNBC. NBC. 25 August 2011. Archived from the original on 4 June 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  33. ^ "Lilia Luciano MSNBC Casey Anthony video report". YouTube. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  34. ^ "Más de 70 periodistas extranjeros cubren en Lima el caso Van der Sloot". Lima, Peru. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  35. ^ "Reporter's Notebook: Lilia Luciano on Joran Van der Sloot Trial in Peru". NBC Latino. Miami. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  36. ^ "Murder trial begins for Van der Sloot video report". NBC Today show. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  37. ^ "Lilia Luciano of NBC News reports on the George Huguely conviction". NBC Today Show. NBC News. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  38. ^ "Lilia Luciano report on Trayvon Martin, Mar 20". NBC Today Show. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  39. ^ "Lilia Luciano report on Trayvon Martin, Mar 22". NBC Today Show. Youtube. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  40. ^ a b David Carr (22 April 2012). "TV Corrects Itself, Just Not on the Air". New York Times. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  41. ^ a b Chris Ariens (2 May 2012). "Another Misleading Edit Costs Another NBC News Employee Her Job". Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  42. ^ Brian Stelter (3 May 2012). "Correspondent Involved in Misleading 'Today' Segment Leaves NBC News". New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  43. ^ Jack Mirkinson (3 May 2012). "Lilia Luciano Fired By NBC News Over Botched George Zimmerman Edit". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  44. ^ Michael Martinez (6 December 2012). "George Zimmerman sues NBC Universal over edited 911 call". Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  45. ^ Ted Johnson (13 July 2013). "How Will "Not Guilty" Verdict Affect George Zimmerman's Libel Suit Against NBC". Variety. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  46. ^ Cherney, Elyssa (2 December 2015). "George Zimmerman's suit against NBC Universal tossed — again". Orlando Sentinel. 
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  49. ^ "Lilia Luciano será corresponsal de NBC News en Miami". People en Español. Time, Inc. 1 October 2010. 
  50. ^ "Univision's "Es el Momento" Educational Initiative video featuring Lilia Luciano". M.A.S.,Entertainment News from English and Spanish sources. 29 March 2011. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  51. ^
  52. ^ Acevedo, Yoselín (7 December 2007). "Wedding Bells for Lilia Luciano". People En Español. 
  53. ^ "Lilia Luciano is Getting Divorced". Latin Gossip. 10 July 2009. 
  54. ^ "Divorces in the Fast-Lane: Lilia Luciano and Luis Alayo". People En Español. 16 July 2009. 
  55. ^ "Lilia Luciano en la Portada de People en Español". Archived from the original on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2009. 
  56. ^ "People En Espanol's "50 Most Beautiful", Lilia Luciano". Zimbo. People en Español. 13 May 2009. 

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