10 Questions with Motor Trend’s New WOT Host, Writer, & Producer, Jessi Lang
1. Who is Jessi Lang?
Many things. In addition to being Motor Trend’s Wide Open Throttle (WOT) host, I am a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at George Mason University. I’ve worked as a radio and TV broadcaster for a Washington D.C.-based media outlet and have had the opportunity to interview a wide range of political and sports figures — from General Colin Powell to former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier to mixed martial arts legend Randy Couture. I’ve also been reviewing cars since 2009.
I’ve earned a Bachelor of Arts in English: Professional Writing, a Master of Arts in Writing and Literature, and Certificates in Radio and Television Broadcasting. I’m currently writing my PhD dissertation and summoning my every strength to make it through this final stretch.
2. Where are you from?
I was born in northern California and raised in Pennsylvania in a post-industrial town that’s not on the map. I’ve spent the last ten years living just outside D.C., pursuing higher education and putting to good use my strong and unrelenting sense of purpose.
3. Why Motor Trend?
I want to be with the best in the business. It is my paramount goal to work with industry-leading experts whom I can respect, admire, and learn from. Joining the Motor Trend team could not have felt more logical.
4. What will you be doing for our YouTube channel in your new role?
In addition to hosting, writing, and producing WOT, I’ll also be working to create an interactive online community with our viewers. Motor Trend has historically taken a hands-off approach to its YouTube content, allowing users to voice their opinions in an unfiltered manner; now, it’s time we begin to interact. I want to build relationships with our viewers, better understand their interests, and let them know we value their feedback. I will be taking their suggestions and answering their questions on air, and I intend to make it clear that we are listening.
5. Ok, enough softball – Motor Trend magazine has been around since 1949 and is home to some really hard core car fanatics. What qualifications do you have to represent MT on Wide Open Throttle?
First and foremost, I have passion. I’m fascinated by the car industry, smitten by horsepower, and excited by advances in auto technology. I have hands-on experience reviewing cars. I can talk at length about the differences between a turbocharger and a supercharger, understeer and oversteer, and what it feels like to take a 911 Turbo to 60 mph in under three seconds.
6. Ok, so you consider yourself a car “gal”… What’s your dream ride then — and why?
In an industry so dynamic, it’s difficult to single out one car as the ultimate dream ride — but one car that continues to make me salivate is the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3, which was unveiled in 2010. A stunningly styled race car with gullwing doors, a roll cage, and a 6.2-liter V-8; what more could one ask for?
7. Good answer. What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?
I hope to build relationships with our viewers and to demonstrate we care about their insight and their comments. I want to know what matters to them and I want to help ensure we provide the content they’re seeking.
8. Other non-media/non-automotive hobbies, interests or pastimes?
I’m currently writing my doctoral dissertation on collective intelligence— though I was tempted to focus my thesis on my favorite sport, mixed martial arts. When I’m not watching MMA bouts, I’m often at the batting cages or at hole-in-the-wall pool halls, making billiards bets with strangers and taking advantage of the ways in which women are sometimes underestimated.
9. So, where can MT fans find you?
Viewers can reach me via my Web site (www.jessilang.com), my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/jessi.lang), my YouTube page (www.youtube.com/jessilangchannel) and my Twitter account (@JessiMotorTrend).
10. How can Motor Trend and WOT fans interact with you?
Along with the sites above, I’ll be moderating the comments section and interacting with our YouTube audience on WOT. See you there – www.youtube.com/motortrend.
-Photos by Paul Hopper