Hi! I’m Ralphie Aversa. I am the host and producer of “Entertain This!” — USA TODAY’s flagship entertainment video franchise. I also help anchor news and sports videos across the USA TODAY Network. I’ve been tapped to interview prominent sports figures, lead live presidential coverage and host special reports on COVID-19.
I started working at USA TODAY before the pandemic, in our midtown newsroom and studio. Since March of 2020, I’ve done all of the above and then some from my living room in New York City that I share with my wife, whom I married earlier this year.
My passion is telling compelling stories. For “Entertain This!” I play a significant role in every episode, from pitch to publish. I’ve also built out our YouTube channel and OTT offerings, in addition to writing articles for the Life team. Some of my more prominent assignments have included interviews with Ben Affleck, Dolly Parton and Andrea Bocelli. I also covered Shawn Mendes’s recent collaboration with Justin Bieber, something that I may have personally played a small role in facilitating.
That leads me to my past, which spans local and national media, both legacy and modern. I spent over 11 years at Cumulus Media hosting a weeknight radio show. More than 6 of those years were in New York on WPLJ-FM. I interviewed every contemporary artist imaginable and covered The Grammys, American Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards annually.
I’ve also worked full-time at Dreams, which was a live TV startup here in New York, and at Yahoo News where I hosted “Trending Now.” I’ve appeared on HLN, WPIX-TV and Music Choice in various capacities.
As I mentioned, I’m a newlywed who lives in New York City. I love the New York Yankees, my alma mater Syracuse University and all things Western New York (Go Bills!). I also completed the 2017 New York City Marathon. And to answer your question, I don’t really have a clue as to whether Justin Bieber actually knew who Shawn Mendes was or not.