Our Mission

by Spencer Rascoff, Co-Founder

Four years ago, I moved back to Los Angeles, my hometown. I'd spent the previous 15 years running a startup in Seattle (Zillow) and the five years before that at my prior startup in San Francisco (Hotwire). After almost 20 years away, it was time to come home.

Both San Francisco and Seattle have well-deserved, global reputations for innovation. Their tech scenes are robust, and I was proud to have played an active role in each of them as a founder, angel investor, mentor to other startups, and tech exec. But L.A.?

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Our Team
Ben Bergman
Senior Reporter
Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior reporter, covering venture capital. Previously he was a senior reporter/host at KPCC, a producer at Gimlet Media and NPR and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times. Bergman was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. He enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.
Tami Abdollah
Senior Reporter
Tami Abdollah is dot.LA's senior technology reporter. She was previously a national security and cybersecurity reporter for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C. She's been a reporter for the AP in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times and for L.A.'s NPR affiliate KPCC. Abdollah spent nearly a year in Iraq as a U.S. government contractor. A native Angeleno, she’s traveled the world on $5 a day, taught trad climbing safety classes and is an avid mountaineer.
Eric Zassenhaus
Managing Editor, Platforms & Audience
Eric Zassenhaus is dot.LA's managing editor for platforms and audience. He works to put dot.LA stories in front of the broadest audience in the best possible way. Prior to joining dot.LA, he served as an editorial and product lead at Pacific Standard magazine and at NPR affiliate KPCC in Los Angeles. He has also worked as a news producer, editor and art director. Follow him on Twitter for random thoughts on publishing and L.A. culture.
Rachel Uranga
Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor for News. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.
Sam Blake
Sam Blake is dot.LA's entertainment reporter. Prior to joining dot.LA, he had a writing fellowship with The Economist, where he wrote primarily for the business and finance sections of the print edition. Sam previously interned at KCRW and hosted a podcast at UCLA's college radio station while completing his dual-degree MBA and Master's in Public Policy. A native of Detroit, Sam previously lived in Madison, Wisconsin and New York City. He studied history at the University of Michigan and speaks four languages.
Annie Burford
Director of Events
Annie Burford is dot.LA's director of events. She's an event marketing pro with over ten years of experience producing innovative corporate events, activations and summits for tech startups to Fortune 500 companies. Annie has produced over 200 programs in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City working most recently for a China-based investment bank heading the CEC Capital Tech & Media Summit, formally the Siemer Summit.
Sam N. Adams
Co-founder, CEO
Sam Adams serves as chief executive of dot.LA. A former financial journalist for Bloomberg and Reuters, Adams moved to the business side of media as a strategy consultant at Activate, helping legacy companies develop new digital strategies. Adams holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an MBA from the University of Southern California. A Santa Monica native, he can most often be found at Bay Cities deli with a Godmother sub or at McCabe's with a 12-string guitar. His favorite colors are Dodger blue and Lakers gold.
Kelly O'Grady
Chief Host & Correspondent, Head of Video
Kelly O'Grady is dot.LA's chief host & correspondent. Kelly serves as dot.LA's on-air talent, and is responsible for designing and executing all video efforts. A former management consultant for McKinsey, and TV reporter for NESN, she also served on Disney's Corporate Strategy team, focusing on M&A and the company's direct-to-consumer streaming efforts. Kelly holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. A Boston native, Kelly spent a year as Miss Massachusetts USA, and can be found supporting her beloved Patriots every Sunday come football season.
Max Levinson
Business Operations
Max Levinson joined the dot.LA team as business operations manager in December 2019. He provides strategic and operational support on high-priority initiatives and day-to- day tasks. Levinson is focused on building dot.LA's sponsorships. Previously, he worked at Flex, formerly Flextronics, on its strategic investments team. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Goizueta Business School at Emory University in 2016. In his spare time, Levinson is an avid reader of news and books on technology, startups and media.

Editorial Independence

dot.LA maintains a firewall between our news coverage decisions and all sources of revenue. This separation ensures that financial support does not present a conflict of interest for our journalism or compromise our editorial independence.

Investments, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations help to fund our journalism, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of funding support. Acceptance of investment does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of investors or their positions.

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In The News

L.A.'s booming tech scene gets its own publication to cover it,

with all-star investors On Thursday, Rascoff announced the launch of dot.LA, a new company that will focus on covering the tech milieu in Southern California and hosting local events.

Former Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff launches dot.LA, a news site for Southern California tech:

Nearly a year after stepping down as CEO of Seattle-based Zillow Group, Spencer Rascoff has turned his focus to the tech and startup scene in his hometown of Los Angeles, leading the launch of a news and events company to cover it all: dot.LA.

dot.LA Seeks Audience for Tinseltown’s Startup Boom:

The tech industry in the City of Angels is booming and Dot.La, a new digital media startup, wants to tell its story.

New tech-focused journalism site, dot.LA, takes off:

2019 was a tough year for the media landscape. An estimated 7,000 jobs were lost, and many publications went dark. The OC Weekly and Pacific Standard Magazine both closed their doors last year.

Here Are the Five Journalists Launching Tech News Site dot.LA:

Tech news site dot.LA will have a staff of five to cover technology news in and around Los Angeles when it launches on Jan. 27.

Uranga helps kick off new online pub dot.LA

Rachel Uranga has joined the founding editorial team of a new online that launches today. dot.LA focuses on L.A.'s startup and tech community.

Big Names Back a Los Angeles News Start-up:

dot.LA, a news media outlet dedicated to covering Los Angeles's tech and start-up scene, will announce today that it is beginning operations with a $4 million round of seed financing. Its list of backers reads like a who's who of the California investment community.