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Samantha Cortese

Samantha Cortese is a digital multimedia journalist and cohost of “5 Live,” KTLA’s digital-only newscast.

The Palm Desert native joined the station from KGUN-TV in Tucson where she was a morning anchor. Before that, she was an anchor and reporter at KESQ-TV in Palm Springs. She’s also worked as a morning show producer and web editor at KPSP-TV.

Samantha graduated Chapman University with a bachelor’s in fine arts in broadcast journalism. Samantha was a founder, producer and anchor for Chapman News, Orange County’s only local news broadcast. She joined the team at CBS Local 2 while still attending Chapman University full time, making for quite the commute (she survived with podcasts).

Samantha’s been nominated for an Emmy Award, and while at Chapman, won the Cecil Award for Best TV Show and was nominated for the Mir Tuhki Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Samantha was a cheerleader at Palm Desert High School and Chapman University. She later coached cheer at PDHS. As a serious college football fan, she says cheerleading was her way to have an effect on the game without actually playing.

Her hobbies include traveling (mostly to catch a Pac-12 game), all things Disney and loving her rescue Havapoo named Magic.

Recent Articles
  • How One Woman Turned Kombucha Into a Successful YouTube Channel Kombucha home brewer Angelica Kelly turned a love for Kombucha into a successful YouTube channel. We debunk some of the mysteries and misconceptions of “Booch,” explore how easy it is to start brewing at home, and try some of her fermented concoctions. The channel is so successful Kelly has written the Kombucha Crafter’s Logbook, now available in stores. This aired on KTLA 5 Live on Oct 21, 2019.

  • World’s Most Sought-After Coffee Hits L.A. Shop for $15 a Cup

    5 Live loves coffee, so when we heard the elusive Gesha beans hit stores in Los Angeles, we had to try it. Caffe Luxxe recently announced the launch of its very first Gesha, which some consider the world’s most sought-after coffee varietal, from the award-winning Doña Elvira’s family-owned Finca Alto Jamarillo in Panama. Some companies purchased Geshas at auction for $1,000 per pound. Caffe Luxxe’s Gesha earned one of the highest cupping scores ever- coming in at 98 points. Learn […]

  • Sushi Making with Chef Masa from ONYX

    Roll Sushi Like a Pro With Chef Masa From ONYX

    Chef Masa Shimakawa of ONYX at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village is in the 5 Live studio to show us how to make sushi at home! From sourcing quality seafood, to cutting the fish and wrapping a perfect roll, Chef Masa shows us a technique using ingredients available at any super market. Yes, there is a huge, huge knife. Actually, there are two of them. It’s wild. If you have trouble getting the hang of it, don’t fret; ONYX is welcoming […]

  • CBD, Cold Brew and Latte Art to Celebrate National Coffee Day in L.A.

    CBD, Cold Brew and Latte Art to Celebrate National Coffee Day in L.A.

    Tamas Christman of Dragonfly Coffee Roasters joined KTLA 5 Live to talk about trends and tastings for National Coffee Day. Christman explains why he likes Blue Bottle cold brew above all others, and discusses the trend of hemp oil, otherwise known as CBD, coffee. He will be at Carrera Cafe on 8251 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles for coffee sampling on Sunday, September 29, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. This segment aired September 27, 2019 on KTLA 5 Live.

  • Halloween Themed Food at Disneyland Is So Good It’s Scary

    Food and KTLA 5 Live go together like Mickey and Minnie, so the team had to check out the new treats at the Disneyland Resort for Halloween Time. Chef Cane Littrell shows us the festive foods he and his team spent months creating in Disney’s kitchens. Visitors can find sweet treats like pumpkin spice churros and dead-cadent funnel cake, to hearty dishes like the long-forgotten dueling tacos and ‘we’ve BEAN dying to MEAT you!’ red beans and rice soup. Disneyland […]

  • Become a Citizen of ‘Haul-O-Ween’ at Cars Land

    The residents of Cars Land have transformed the town of Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams for Halloween Time and 5 Live was invited to join the frightful fun. As the Cars prepare to celebrate Halloween, or as they call it “Haul-O-Ween,” they have decorated their establishments for the occasion. They even wear their favorite “car-stumes” to celebrate. This festive celebration takes place at Disney California Adventure Park from Sept. 6 – Oct. 31. This segment aired on September 18, 2019 […]

  • Disneyland’s ‘Spooky, Not Scary’ Halloween Time

    KTLA 5 Live left the digital studio to visit the happy haunts at Disneyland. From Haunted Mansion Holiday to the Main Street Pumpkin Festival, the team learned about what’s new for visitors of all ages. To visit the Disneyland Resort for Halloween Time, running September 6 to October 31, 2019, click here. This segment aired September 16, 2019 on KTLA 5 Live.

  • Remember Family at Día de los Muertos Tribute at Disneyland

    KTLA 5 Live’s Samantha Cortese and Robert Puente celebrate their heritage at the Plaza de la Familia! Put a loved one on the ofrenda or meet your alebrije during Día de los Muertos celebrations at Disneyland Resort. Activities run from September 6 to November 3, 2019. Meet Miguel of Disney and Pixar’s film “Coco” in between performances of “A Musical Celebration of Coco” in Plaza de la Familia at Disney California Adventure Park. This segment aired September 18, 2019 on […]

  • The Queen Mary Hosts ‘Food and Culture Utopia’ at First Annual Night Market

      The Queen Mary joined KTLA 5 Live to discuss the inaugural Queen Mary Night Market happening Friday, September 20 from 6 p.m – 11 p.m. Highlighting SoCal`s diverse culinary scene and arts culture, Queen Mary Night Market will offer dozens of food vendors and local craft makers selling and showcasing original designs. Tickets are $7 and can be bought at This segment aired Sept. 17, 2019

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