During the recent political season, Clayson sat down with President George W. and First Lady Laura Bush twice, Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney, former Vice President Al Gore and Tipper Gore, Senator Joe Lieberman, Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Secretary Madeline Albright, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator John McCain and Ralph Nader, among others. Clayson also recently traveled to Mexico City for an exclusive interview with Mexican President Vicente Fox on the eve of his meeting with President George W. Bush. The two discussed a variety of topics, including economic and trade relations, immigration and the drug war.
In January 2001, Clayson originated The Early Show from Tampa in conjunction with Super Bowl XXXV and from Washington D.C. for the Bush swearing in and inaugural galas. While in Washington, she had the opportunity to meet with President and Mrs. Bush for a wide-ranging discussion of goals, family and lifestyle changes.
A die-hard Survivor fan, Clayson gets the inside scoop from the latest cast member voted out of Australia's Outback when they join her on The Early Show the following day. Clayson also co-anchored The Early Show’s final island Survivor episode in August from Los Angeles’ Television City. It was there that Clayson orchestrated discussion between all first-season Survivor contestants--including ultimate survivor Richard Hatch--about numerous aspects of the show.
No stranger to the Hollywood elite, Clayson has interviewed many of today's hottest stars, including Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Susan Sarandon, Sigourney Weaver, Antonio Banderas and many others.
To mark the millennium, Clayson traveled to Sydney, Australia, and was among a handful of American journalists to report live as the new century unfolded. She reassured viewers that the Y2K bug's bark was far worse than its bite.
Before co-anchoring The Early Show, Clayson was a correspondent (1997-99) for ABC News in Los Angeles, reporting for World News Tonight and other network broadcasts. She covered numerous international breaking news stories, including the NATO air strikes against Kosovo, the refugee crisis in Macedonia, the Indonesian riots and the subsequent fall of the Suharto government. Her domestic coverage for ABC included Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign, the crash of the Boeing 747 in Guam, and the O.J. Simpson civil trial.
Between 1990 and 1996, Clayson anchored and reported for KSL-TV, the highly rated and respected broadcast news organization in Salt Lake City. While working for KSL, she traveled to China twice to write and produce an award-winning news series and documentary.
Clayson's work has been recognized by some of journalism's most prestigious organizations. In addition to numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, her honors include an Emmy and The Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association.
While her work keeps her extraordinarily busy, Clayson spends much of her spare time training her new Maltese puppy, Tess, and working on a wide variety of stitchery and craft projects.
Clayson is a native of Sacramento, Calif., although her family lived in several cities growing up. Clayson graduated from Brigham Young University in 1990 with a degree in journalism. A noted violinist, Clayson attended the university on a music scholarship. This year, her alma mater honored her as one of its most distinguished alumni at a gala homecoming weekend.