As a kid growing up in Beverly Hills, Liz Claman often pretended to be red-haired Barbara Walters interviewing family members and friends, who, with her urging, imitated celebrities. It became pretty clear that she would someday wind up in front of a TV camera.

Sure enough, even after majoring in French at UC Berkeley, she chased her journalistic aspirations through a few grunt jobs before landing at CNBC in 1998 and moving on to the then-fledgling Fox Business Network in 2007.

"I tell people all the time that you've just got to envision your dream and then fight tooth and nail to get it," she says.

Liz Claman
Liz Claman (Lester Ali)

Beginning Sept. 10, that go-for-it spirit will be on display when Claman returns to the Bay Area for her annual "Three Days in the Valley" programming event, during which she interviews some of the biggest names and innovators in Silicon Valley and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the high-tech business capital.

Claman, who works out of New York, took some time recently to field some questions by phone:

Q So how did these valley visits get started?

A In 2008, we were a brand-new network, and we realized that we were getting shut out of all of the big industry conferences. ... People were asking, "Who are you?" So, like a true startup, we thought, "Heck, let's do our own thing." Intel stepped up to host our first day. All the CEOs in the valley came flooding in, and we were welcomed with open arms.

Q Why is it important to be out here?

A Because Silicon Valley is the hotbed of job creation in this nation. And it matters because what they make everybody buys. ... Plus, I find the energy there so refreshing. They think optimistically, as opposed to Washington, where so many people think about worst-case scenarios. In the valley, they don't sit around asking, "Why?" They ask, "Why not?"

Q Over the years, you've interviewed some of the biggest names in business, including Warren Buffett. Are you disappointed Apple's Steve Jobs eluded you?

A I knew you were going to ask that! We tried many times, but Steve didn't do a lot of interviews to begin with. I always thought it was myopic of Apple not to consider us. Their PR people would say, "Well, he might do it someday." But I didn't want my headline to read: "Fox anchor dies holding her breath."

Q We've heard the stories about you imitating Barbara Walters as a kid. Did you have any other journalistic role models?

A While I was a student at Cal, Tim Russert came to speak. He had just landed a very rare interview with the pope, and he told us the efforts he made to land it. ... He was so inspiring. I rushed up through the crowd after the speech, made my way up to him, and asked, "How come there are no redheads on network television?" His response was, "Maybe you'll be the first."

Q And you went for it.

A Years later, when I was the weekend morning anchor at the NBC affiliate in Boston, I wrote him a letter thanking him for his inspiration. He wrote back a handwritten letter with a "Meet the Press" baseball hat that said, "You did it!"

Q When you started at FBN, bloggers dubbed you the "Red Fox" and even now, some people fixate on your appearance. Does that bother you?

A Not really. As long as people are listening to what I'm saying, it's OK. It comes with the territory -- especially for women. If I didn't want to deal with that kind of attention, I would write for a newspaper.

Q Ouch!

A No, I don't mean it that way. It's just that, when you live in front of the camera, people are going to find different ways to relate to you. I suppose I'd be worried if people weren't talking about me.

Follow Chuck Barney at Twitter.com/chuckbarney and Facebook.com/bayareanewsgroup.chuckbarney.

'three Days in the valley'

Liz Claman's annual Silicon Valley-based specials air at noon on Fox Business Network, with live look-ins throughout the day. Here's her tentative tour itinerary (events are closed to the public):

Sept. 10
Site: Intel's Developer Forum at the Moscone Center, San Francisco
Key guests: Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO; Dr. Genevieve Bell, director of interaction and experience research for Intel; Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme CEO; Jeff Fluhr, Spreecast CEO.
Sept. 11
Site: Sony PlayStation headquarters, San Mateo
Key guests: Scott Rohde, senior vice president of product development for Sony PlayStation; Jack Tretton, Sony PlayStation CEO; Chuck Doud, director of music for Sony PlayStation; Peter Moore, Electronic Arts COO; Mike McCue, Flipboard CEO.
Sept. 12
Site: Jive Software headquarters, Palo Alto
Key guests: Tony Zingale, Jive Software CEO; Tom Preston-Werner, GitHub CEO and cofounder. In addition, a round-table panel will feature Jive board members.

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