Val Zavala

Val Zavala has been the anchor of SoCal Connected since its debut in 2008.  She has been at KCET since 1987, serving as anchor, reporter or executive producer for the long-running “Life & Times” as well as other news programs and specials. Over her career at KCET she has won 14 L.A. Area Emmys and eight Golden Mikes. Zavala, before moderating a panel on high-speed rail, told us a bit more about herself.

Q. What is the last habit you tried to kick?

A. I just got my cholesterol checked, so I have to cut down on dairy and meat. Meat’s not a problem but I love cheese. Still, I’ve done very well so far.

Q. Who was your childhood hero?

A. My dad, who worked really hard and did a great job getting five kids through life.

Q. What do you consider to be the greatest simple pleasure?

A. Nature.

Q. Where would we find you at 10 a.m. on a typical Saturday?

A. If I had my choice, on a horse. I’m not good at it yet, but I’m good enough to go out on the trails at Lake View Terrace with friends.

Q. What do you do to clear your mind?

A. I do meditation. And I find little sanctuaries, quiet places in the city, like the Vedanta Temple in Hollywood.

Q. What do you wish you had the nerve to do?

A. Parachute. But I’m too old now. I had the nerve in my 20s and 30s.

Q. What music have you listened to today?

A. Classical and jazz guitar.

Q. What is your favorite word?

A. Superficial. I remember when I first learned that word, I was in junior high. I thought what a great word this is, this is how I feel about the world. I started calling everybody superficial and I still think we are.

Q. If you could take only one more journey, where would you go?

A. Bali.

Q. What profession would you like to practice in your next life?

A. I would actually like to be more politically active than I can be as a journalist. I’d like to be a consumer advocate or the leader of a social cause. Journalists can shine a light on a lot of things but we can’t get our teeth into something.

Q. Who is the one person living or dead you would most like to meet for dinner?

A. Gabriel Byrne. I got totally hooked on “In Treatment.” I love that it’s a test of two minds. He nailed that part, so I’d love to go out to dinner with him.

To read more about Zavala’s panel, click here.

*Photo by Aaron Salcido.


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