Read about the Just Ask Asa! website here.
Asa Aarons has dedicated his career to helping people solve the problems of everyday life. A leader and innovator in the field of consumer journalism for more than two decades, his Ask Asa reports are known for their depth, range and personality.
Asa offers a unique approach to consumer news. He gives it a characteristic personal touch and transforms even complex issues to informative, entertaining and usable information. In short, he takes consumerism out of the domain of lab coats and litigators and into the real world.
Asa is widely regarded for his expertise as a problem solver, or, as he describes it, “media with a purpose.” Through his intervention, consumers have collected thousands of dollars in refunds from manufacturers, retailers and service providers. He’s also resolved consumer misunderstandings with everyone from contractors and car dealers to government officials.
His product safety reports helped prompt the recall and retrofit of nationally sold infant furniture. He’s also won national recognition for reports on consumer strategies to save money on fuel, utilities and taxes. Many of his reports are featured on national talk shows, including The Today Show.
His product tests often include first hand information. For example, he had his own children engage in a food fight on a sample of carpet to test its stain resistant claims and dug up his yard to verify the claims of a biodegradable trash bag maker. Asa has also felt the impact of a stun gun and walked barefoot over hot coals, all to bring consumers fresh perspectives on products and services.
Asa started his career as a professional photographer. Within a few years, however, he became a journalist, writing and producing documentaries. During the mid-1980s, he found himself on the other side of the lens as a broadcast news reporter.
He worked at several stations in the Midwest, perfecting his brand of consumer reporting and setting up help lines that attracted large and diverse groups of consumers. In the early 1990s, Asa’s record for helping consumers brought him to the attention of NBC executives, who hired him to establish a consumer unit at the network’s flagship station, WNBC. For nearly 15 years, Ask Asa was a battle cry for New York metro area television viewers.
Asa left WNBC in Oct. 2007, but continued his tradition of helping consumers through a newspaper column in the New York Daily News, the launch of this website, and a position at NY1 in New York City. In March 2012, Asa returned to network television when he was hired by WCBS/Ch. 2 in New York. “Nothing,” he said, “is more interesting or important to me than helping people.”
In his spare time, Asa applies a different skill set to his mission by focusing on digital photography. Many of his prints feature street life and the homeless.
Asa is one of the few people worldwide who play the Theremin, an electronic instrument that controls pitch and volume through precise hand movements. His interest in the instrument sparked a friendship with the late Bob Moog, creator of the modern synthesizer, and resulted in the use of Asa’s personal Theremin at the first electronic music festival at Lincoln Center in New York City several years ago by a virtuoso player.
Asa lives in Westchester County, NY with his wife, writer Noreen Seebacher. The two have five children. They closely collaborate on everything, including this website.–by Noreen Seebacher