Natali Del Conte Talks Loaded and CNET TV
The delightful Natali Del Conte might very well be in your iTunes podcast subscription list, or perhaps in your browser. Natali is the host for the daily tech news show, Loaded, which resides under the CNET TV brand. And if you don’t recognize the name from there, maybe you’ve seen her work in Wired magazine, Variety, or any of the other publications this talented woman’s been working for.
Yep, that’s some career, isn’t it? Should be an interesting interview, don’t you think? I sure did, anyway, and luckily Natali played nicely. Enjoy!
Congratulations on your show Loaded over at CNET! What were your initial reactions on your new workplace?
My initial reactions were more to the city than the CNET offices. Admittedly CNET San Francisco is a much nicer place. The offices in San Francisco were built specifically for CNET so the space is much nicer. I like our space in New York but we are a bureau and bureaus are always a bit less than the mothership. As for New York, well that is a question that you will get a different answer to almost every single day!
Most of the BloggerTalks readers already know you from TechCrunch, then Textra, and now CNet’s Loaded show. But before that, what did you do, and where did Natali come from?
You can find my full bio at www.natalidelconte.com.
Aww, that’s taking the lazy route, don’t you think? How do you like New York compared to San Francisco, from a journalist’s point of view?
Its funny because I thought that New York media would blow me away with its intensity and pervasiveness. It actually isnít much different from San Francisco, there is just more of it. I definitely work harder than I ever have because there is more to be done but I donít feel like Iím dealing with a totally different league of professionals. I guess that is because there are so many talented professionals in San Francisco too. Plus, when you compete in the blogosphere, you already know about hardcore!
You’re an active freelancer as well, correct?
When I was with Podshow, I freelanced a lot. With CNET, I really don’t have the time to do that. Plus, I can’t write for our competitors if it has to do with technology. Sometimes I’ll pick up a non-technology story for a magazine here and there but for the most part, my freelancing career is in sleep mode.
Do you miss writing, now that it is all video?
Well, I donít really have time to miss writing since I am constantly writing Loaded and my Early Show segments. I write a lot but sometimes Iíll read something really well written and in-depth in the New York Times or Vanity Fair and miss having the opportunity to really put a lot of time and thought into my writing. The goal is that someday Iíll be able to do both in-depth writing and video writing.
What made you decide on taking the step from the written word at TechCrunch, to being the host of web show Textra?
I’ll admit I didn’t jump at the idea right away. I was really apprehensive about it all. I didn’t think I’d be able to make myself look camera-ready and I wasn’t sure if I could deliver the information on camera. I can’t take credit for making the transition though. It would not have occurred to me at all but one fateful day when I was writing for TechCrunch, I got a call from Adam Curry who pitched me the idea of doing a show for his network. He took me to lunch the following week and it took a lot of convincing but I eventually signed on because I trusted him and I believed that he knew what he was doing. Adam Curry is a pro so for him to come to me out of the blue like that was very flattering. I certainly would not be where I am today without his vision and what you could also call recklessness to take a chance on an unknown like me.
Did Textra turn out to be what you thought, and perhaps had envisioned?
Yes and no. Of course I wanted more for that show but I was really sad to leave it behind last year. It was my baby and I was really proud of it.
How did CNET convince you to move from Textra to what was to become Loaded? The George Lucas way, also known as a truckload of money?
Haha! Not really money, no. I wasn’t looking to leave TeXtra behind but CNET’s offer was just too good to say no to. They are an established network with very impressive resources. They also offered me the chance to explore a new city and be exposed to all the major news networks in the number one news market in the world. In just the five months that I’ve been in New York, I have made appearances on behalf of CNET for The Today Show, CNBC, The Early Show, BBC, ABC, The CW, WNBC, CBS, Fox News, Fox Business News, G4TV, and more.
Are you happy with the way Loaded is turning out, now that it has been running for some time?
I really am. The show is changing quickly now that it is a CBS product and it has been really exciting to watch that happen before my very eyes.
CBS bought CNET fairly recently. How has this changed your work? What could be the benefits of having CBS as the owner of the company, do you think?
It has changed my life significantly in the last few weeks. The fastest way for our two companies to integrate is on camera so Iíve been on the Early Show as many as four times per week in the last few weeks. Iím happy to be the person explaining the technology world to the general American population. Itís really exciting! Of course I also want things for Loaded like to be served on CBSNews.com as well as perhaps syndicated but I wonít have to wait long for these changes. CBS is making us a part of their family at warp speed and so far theyíve been really positive.
In brief, how’s your average workday at a web show like Loaded? Does it differ much from blogging the news?
YES! My workdays are long. I spend the entire day before each show preparing for the next day’s show. We film Loaded at 7 a.m. EST so I get up at 5, put on makeup for the cameras, finish writing my script to include any stories that may have broken overnight, and rush in to the studio. We edit the show together in about 2 hours and after that, I head out to shoot feature packages or do network news appearances. Then I start it all over again! With blogging, there is less preparation. If you see a story, you publish it. With video, there is SO much preparation and editing afterwards. I do miss the instant gratification of writing but I have more to show for a day’s work with Loaded, that is for sure!
That is some workday! To wrap this up, is there any words of advice you’d like to give aspiring online video wannabes?
Oh gosh, I am never good at this question mostly because I fell into video in a pretty backwards way. Iím not sure how I would have gone about it if I had deliberately set out to get here. The best advice I can give is to just start now. If you have something to say on camera, start saying it. Break out your Webcam and start your own show as soon as possible. I wish I had done that so that I wouldnít have had to work out the kinks in public!