Nicea Degering talks about her interviews with Garth Brooks, Norm McDonald on Jessop’s Journal

Jessop's Journal

(JESSOP’S JOURNAL WITH DOUG JESSOP, ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) I’ve been in broadcasting for a long time and get to meet and interview lots of interesting people. I’ve also been honored to work with a lot of great journalists in my career.

You can see my previous Jessop’s Journal interviews with ABC4 News Sportscaster Wesley Ruff, Crime Reporter Marcos Ortiz and Anchor Emily Florez by clicking on their name. In this episode of Jessop’s Journal I sat down with Nicea Degering. I affectionately call her the “Godmother of Good Things Utah.” If you don’t know, Good Things Utah is the longest running lifestyle show in Utah and Nicea has been the host since day one.  Along the way other hosts have joined her.

What you may not know is that Nicea started as the crime reporter at ABC4. Now as the host of Good Things Utah, a TV show that airs every weekday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Nicea has had a lot of interviews under her belt.  It’s interesting to note that her most memorable interview happened when she was asked to interview country music superstar, Garth Brooks.

DOUG- Was there a favorite interview over the last eighteen years? NICEA – So, this was before eighteen years. This was before Good Things Utah. I’d have to think about my GTU one’s because so many amazing, but Garth Brooks. DOUG – Really? NICEA – Doug I was young. I was so, so young. I didn’t listen to country music. I was the crime reporter and they sent me to interview Garth Brooks who had just sold out Central Park. Insane concert in the late nineties. He comes to Utah sells out five nights at the then Delta Center.

I went to the concert. He pulled me up for the encore. I held hands with Garth Brooks at the sold-out Delta Center on stage right before he sang “I’ve Go Friends in Low Places” and I was at the pinnacle of my career. Right there. I could have died and gone to heaven and been fine. I didn’t really know Garth Brooks and the impact that he had on country music and it was a moment I will never forget. DOUG – Virtual fist bump. NICEA – Right. Real quick. The end of that story. Four years ago. First time he had been back. Now Energy Solutions. I got to interview him. I see him. While they were putting his microphone on, I said. I have a story for you. There was a little reporter in Salt Lake. Years ago. Two decades ago. She knew nothing about country music. He says, yes ma’am, yes ma’am. You not only told her what it was about. You took her on stage and held her hand to show her how it felt. And he goes, you still have a job. DOUG – Serious. NICEA – and so do you. You’re still singing. And we had a moment. We hugged. It was before COVID, thank heaven, it was before COVID. My favorite. My favorite connection because that’s what I do. I tell stories. I tell other people’s stories DOUG – Yeah. NICEA – He taught me about connection. Making a connection with a stranger. There was a, I don’t know you. I was there to do the interview, but I learned from Garth Brooks.

You’re going to want to watch this thirty plus minute interview to find out about some of the crazy things that she has done for the sake of “good television.”

To tie-in the headline, I asked her about another memorable interview with Saturday Night Live alumnus, Norm McDonald. I don’t want to give away the details. You’ll need to watch the video to get the details.

I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.

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Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life. Your feedback and story suggestions are always welcome by emailing me at .

A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. Other episodes of Jessop’s Journal can be seen at and are made possible by the generous support of Rustico, Tailor Cooperative, JW Custom Hats , XLEAR and Ogden’s Own Distillery.

Stories have power. They help us understand each other. With another entry in Jessop’s Journal and Nicea Degering, I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.

Doug Jessop
For Doug Jessop, it all started with a cassette recorder he got for Christmas when he was 12 years old growing up in Southern California. Doug interviewed relatives, friends and anyone else that might have a good story. You can follow Doug at, on, and @DougJessopNews on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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