Neal Karlinsky is an ABC News Correspondent. He joined ABC News in August 2000. Since joining ABC News, Karlinsky has proved himself a versatile storyteller. In recent years, he’s covered the nuclear disaster in Japan, the trapped miners in Chile, a nearly unpronounceable volcano in Iceland, a devastating earthquake in China and a deadly tsunami on the Pacific Island of Samoa. At the same time, back home he’s covered major news events and features in every western state and beyond.
Karlinsky holds the rare distinction of having twice interviewed Apple’s Steve Jobs. He’s been granted exclusive access inside Google and several upstart tech companies, and has also interviewed Bill Gates. On the other end of the spectrum, he’s interviewed SpongeBob Squarepants for a behind-the-scenes look at the popular children’s show. Other colorful assignments have included a painful visit to a bullfighting school, a day with skateboard legend Tony Hawk — even a climb up Yosemite’s famed El Capitan with one of the world’s best climbers.
Karlinsky’s coverage of the west has been extensive — reporting from the frontlines of California wildfires to the edge of Mount St. Helens’ crater — even to polar bear dens near the Arctic Circle. He’s covered every kind of natural disaster imaginable from a variety of datelines, while profiling everyone from heartthrobs and Hollywood elite to child prodigies and sport’s stars for “Nightline.” In 2010 he conducted the only network interview with former Tour de France winner Floyd Landis for an investigation of doping allegations against Lance Armstrong.
Overseas, Karlinsky has reported from throughout the Middle East and Asia, in addition to assignments in Central America and Europe. He reported extensively inside Iraq in 2003 and 2004.
Since joining ABC News, Karlinsky has been honored by the Overseas Press Club for Outstanding Breaking News coverage during the 2008 Chinese earthquake. His reporting inside the Arctic earned him an Emmy nomination for magazine reporting in 2008—one of several national Emmy nominations in recent years. He was also recognized by the National Press Club for a report on recalled Firestone tires and by the Humane Society of the United States for reporting on animal-rights issues.
Before joining ABC News, Karlinsky worked for six years at CBS affiliate KIRO-TV in Seattle, where he won a New York Festivals Silver World Medal for investigative reporting. He also won several local and regional awards for investigative, breaking news and hard news reporting. During his time at KIRO-TV, he followed the trail of Russian organized crime to Vladivostok, Russia. He also traveled to Brazil, where he broke the news of a Seattle murder suspect’s capture, then rode home on the extradition flight one year later. Karlinsky also covered major stories nationwide for the station. Prior to his time in Seattle, he worked at ABC affiliate WKRN-TV in Nashville, Tennessee, where he also received an award for breaking news coverage, and at CBS affiliate WLNS-TV in Lansing, Michigan.
Karlinsky has a journalism degree from Michigan State University and lives near Seattle with his wife, Malia, and their two children.