This story first appeared in Focal Point – One Nevada Credit Union's member magazine.
Name: Jason Feinberg
Occupation: Fox 5 Las Vegas News Anchor
ONCU Member since: 2016
Las Vegas Resident Since: 2006
Family/Pets: Dr. Feinberg, Kitty Perry and part time – Giselle, the 5-pound Yorkie
What is your favorite thing about ONCU: The personal service I get. And I love hearing the commercials!
Q: How did you start your career in TV?
I actually started in Radio sales as an intern in Tucson, but the on-air DJ’s took a liking to me and thought I had the personality for entertainment. My first gig was on a show called “Saturday Night Party Patrol.” We would travel from party to party in a bright yellow and purple van and do live remotes. Later I moved to Palm Springs for TV. My very first night, I covered a huge political gala. I interviewed powerful Senators. I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily they were politicians, so they had great 15-second responses.
Q: How long have you been an anchor with Fox 5 Las Vegas?
I’ve been with Fox 5 for 11 years and in TV since Feb 1992.
Q: Would you consider this your dream job? Any other markets you’d consider?
Las Vegas is a great city! I’ve been coming here from LA since I was 3 years old. I watched the town grow almost like a local. My family would come up about 5-6 times a year. LA is always an option down the road, but honestly, I can’t stand the traffic. I’ve worked in bigger TV markets, but this is the best.
Q: Is there a lot of pressure that comes along with your job?
Yes, especially in this day and age. Social media captures everything you say and do. You have to be careful because it is live and no do-overs.
Q: What’s it like being a local celebrity?
I get recognized all the time. It comes with the territory. Everyone is really nice. Nowadays it’s all about the selfies and pictures. People have no problem asking me for a picture no matter what I’m doing. Autographs are so 90’s.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Making people laugh in the mornings, especially in these times of unrest. One of the highest honors is the Emmy. I was nominated many times before I won. It was surreal winning the Emmy for best News Anchor this year. I thanked my cats.
Q: What advice would you give anyone interested in starting a TV broadcasting career?
You need to be willing to move to a small market. I started in Palm Springs and Reno, which were nice. But my first anchor job was in Midland/Odessa Texas aka Slow-deatha. You won’t be able to get on-air in a big city right away. In order to get noticed, you also need to make a demo reel while in college or during an internship. It’s more important than a resume.
Q: What makes delivering the news in Vegas different than other big cities and what do you enjoy most about Vegas?
I feel like we can be a little looser in Las Vegas. Most people who visit from other places say we are more fun. The entertainment on the strip is first class, plus Vegas has the best hotels, restaurants, clubs etc. And I think people expect the best with their news too.
I enjoy all the live entertainment. I go to all of it. Recently I saw the LV Philharmonic, Lou Gramm of Foreigner, The Moody Blues, and Kanye West. But I’m also known to show up to a small budget play in Henderson or a Piano Lounge at a hotel lobby. I have very eclectic taste.
Q: What’s one of the funniest/most embarrassing things you’ve experienced during a live show?
When I was first starting in TV, I was faxed an alert from the police department. A man was wanted. They supplied a sketch, a description and in the name column, it said LNU FNU. I thought he was foreign. I pronounced his name on air as Lanu Fanu. Later, the sergeant from the police department called to tell me LNU FNU stands for Last Name Unknown, First Name Unknown. Maybe I’ll name my future son LNU FNU Feinberg.
Q: Are you involved in any local charities?
I do a lot with The Shade Tree, Opportunity Village, and the NSPCA, but I attend a ton of charity events; recently, The Imagine Dragons Tyler Robinson Foundation gala, The OV Santa Run, and The St. Jude’s An Affair of the Art.
Q: We hear a lot about your cats during the news, can you tell us about them?
Well duh! My first cats Itchy and Scratchy were very famous and accomplished in Las Vegas. They lived most of their 19 years in town. Mayor Oscar Goodman even gave them their own proclamation. “Itchy and Scratchy Day” in 2008 and they were official employees (honorary mouse chasers in the equestrian center) at the Southpoint. Eight hotels wished them a Happy 18th Birthday on their Marquise. Now I have my girls Dr. Feinberg and Kitty Perry. They aren’t as outgoing as the boys and seldom leave the house. But they do silly things that make for great TV talk. Giselle, the 5-pound Yorkie, used to live at the house. Now she comes and visits. The cats find her entertaining and she has a rivalry with Kitty Perry. The cats are both bigger than her.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m always taking advantage of our mild weather; jogging, walking outdoors or doing brunch on a patio. I’m at the gym every day. I also love football season. I’ll watch college and pro games at GVR and South Point or go to the UNLV games at Sam Boyd.