Mari Payton loves everything about San Diego. The people, the weather and its beaches. She feels fortunate to be bringing San Diegans the news every day.
As of April 2013 Mari will be a full time investigative reporter leading the NBC 7 I-Team. Two of Payton’s past investigations, “A Prescription for Pot” and “Car Buyers Beware” have earned Emmy Awards. Additionally, Payton’s recent investigation into a local university revealed that the school was operating fraudulently without a license. The NBC 7 story led to the State of California forcing the school to close in March 2013 and prompted an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Her coverage of the 2007 Firestorm also earned her an Emmy She's reported breaking news live on the TODAY show, MSNBC, and other NBC stations across the country throughout her career. Mari will continue to be a fill-in anchor from time to time as schedules dictate.
In her time working around the country before returning to Southern California, Mari worked at WLBT, the NBC affiliate in Jackson, Mississippi. While at WLBT, she was sent to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where she rode out the storm and covered the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She also won an Associated Press award for a piece on the obesity epidemic in the state of Mississippi.
Mari graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science.
She was a Renaissance Scholar and graduated from the Annenberg School for Communication. While there, she worked as an anchor/reporter for Annenberg TV News, USC's live half hour nightly newscast. That's also where she learned to shoot and edit.
Mari also studied international media in London, Paris, Prague, and Geneva. She also studied in Washington, D.C. and interned on Capitol Hill for Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Mari is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association.
In her free time she enjoys traveling. Her recent stops include Japan, Australia and Argentina. She also loves cooking, yoga, and cheering on the Trojan football team. Mari is passionate about food and wine and the social scene in San Diego. If you have any dining suggestions or story ideas let her know!
Drop Mari a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MariNBCSD