Conan Nolan is a general assignment reporter for NBC4 Los Angeles and the host of the long-running political and public affairs show News Conference. Before moderating a panel on California’s north-south divide, he was generous enough to share his own interview secrets-and to reveal where he keeps his Emmy.
Q. How do you make your interview subjects feel comfortable?
A. Engage them in conversation first, then convince them that the camera is just there to eavesdrop. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Q.What’s the last thing you bought online?
A. A Kindle.
Q. What’s your favorite spot in L.A. that most people don’t know about?
A. The hike behind Miss American Green Cross Statue at Brand Park in Glendale. It’s got a beautiful view of downtown. And during the winter there’s a waterfall.
Q. What do you eat for breakfast?
A. Mostly Ezekiel bread, coffee, and a piece of fruit.
Q. Who is your favorite Beatle?
A. Probably George Harrison.
Q. What’s your ideal vacation?
A. Going to a warm-water Caribbean beach.
Q. Blackberry, iPhone, Android-or other?
A. I have this [holds up a Blackberry] and I hate it. But it has one thing I like about it, which trumps everything else: I never see a bill because it’s a company phone.
Q. What profession would you want to practice in your next life?
A. Park ranger. I would have liked to have been a U.S. forest ranger or a forest firefighter.
Q. What is your least favorite household chore?
A. Unplugging the toilet with a plunger.
Q. What was the best decision you ever made?
A. Marrying my wife.
Q. Where do you keep your Emmy Award?
A. Over the television. I have a friend who uses his as a toilet roll holder in the bathroom.
Read more about the panel that Nolan moderated.
*Photo by Aaron Salcido.