Danielle Nottingham is a renaissance woman who tackles any story. The award-winning journalist has brought audiences stories from global breaking news to entertainment red carpets. Nottingham was there for the Pope’s resignation in Rome. She was there for Nelson Mandela’s funeral in South Africa. But now, she is here in Southern California showing viewers what it means to live in the Golden state.
Nottingham is the co-host of NBC 4’s “California Live.” The show focuses on the latest national and local entertainment news, social, digital, and technology trends. Segments can range from Nottingham interviewing legends, such as the Supremes singer Mary Wilson, to beating Shaquille O’ Neal in a basketball contest.
The show’s format sways away from typical news segments. Instead, the segments shine light on the beauty behind Southern California culture.
The Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper spoke with Nottingham over the phone about her journey and working on-air as a Black woman.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL NEWSPAPER (LAS): I read that you didn’t initially think about journalism as a career choice. Can you explain?
DANIELLE NOTTINGHAM: I started a path thinking I would be in academics or work in the business world. So I started off consulting. I was working in strategic communications for a while. I then got hired as a public information officer, working for the Governor’s office in New Jersey. While I was there, I would send out tapes to stations for jobs in journalism.
LAS: How did you end up in Los Angeles?
NOTTINGHAM: I went from Mississippi to South Carolina, then Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and now Los Angeles.
LAS: That sounds like an ambitious route.
NOTTINGHAM: Yeah, it’s tough because you see other people take a different route and get there faster. It is a constant grind. I’m always asked how did I learn teleprompter. There were days when I took scripts home just to practice in the mirror. It takes a lot of learning and adapting.
LAS: How has your position as a Black woman impacted your career?
NOTTINGHAM: We always enter situations where you are one or few, so you think about that in the back of your mind. I think the difference now from when I started is that I purposely seek out that voice in the stories that I cover. One thing that I love now in my position at California Live is that this market gets to see another person of color on television.
LAS: What makes “California Live” different than most news station shows?
NOTTINGHAM: We talk about things that are happening right now but we are not a news program. Our goal is to show people the best of California and how to live their best lives. It can come from a cool restaurant or even an event. We just try to have fun and show what California is all about.
LAS: What’s something recently that happened on the show that stood out?
NOTTINGHAM: I beat Shaquille O’ Neal in a basketball game!
LAS: Shaquille O’ Neal? What happened?
NOTTINGHAM: I was at The Grove. I only had one shot. I made it but he missed his shot. It was very exciting!
LAS: What would you tell someone who is inspired to become a journalist?
NOTTINGHAM: You need to learn how to write and organize your thoughts. It’s all about finding your voice. You should also talk to someone who can give you guidance. People are willing to help. Plus, it’s always okay to reinvent yourself because people might not always see your potential.
Audiences can watch “California Live” Monday-Friday, midday across the stations’ on-air, mobile, or digital page at www.nbccalive.com.