Liz Claman, anchor of Fox Business Network, is back for a series of broadcasts from Silicon Valley. She has done her segment on 3 Days in the Valley for three years now and began the newest series today. Claman, (pictured with Twitter’s Jack Dorsey last year), is interviewing a series of Silicon Valley bigwigs today through Wednesday (see the schedule at the bottom). We got together with Claman for a quick Q&A over the weekend to get a sense for why the rest of the business world cares about Silicon Valley. Here’s what she had to say:

VentureBeat: Why do you come to the Valley for these whirlwind visits?

Liz Claman: Why wouldn’t we want to come to what is easily the most optimistic, creative and strong job engine in America? Particularly at a time when the U.S. is struggling to dig itself out of this economic nightmare, we need to show that the stories aren’t all dismal. In fact, they’re positively inspiring in the Valley. It’s the best business story going, and Fox Business has, since day one of our existence, put the highest priority on covering it.

VB: How interested is the broader business audience in Silicon Valley?

LC: I get more response on “3 Days in the Valley” than just about anything else I cover, with the exception of my work with Warren Buffett. I just got a tweet from one of my followers. He’s a farmer in Ohio and he keeps asking, “When does “3 Days” start?” The broader business audience draws upon what we report for inspiration and for a clearer picture of what’s really going on in business in America.

VB: This is your third year doing this. Last year, the Valley was still climbing out of the deep recession. What was your observation about the collective mood of the executives?

LC: Last year I remember asking everyone, “Do you think the Fed and Ben Bernanke is going to truly stabilize the banking system?” and I’ll never forget… We were at Cisco’s headquarters and venture capitalists Tim Draper and Steve Jurvetson were like, “Bernanke who?” They were joking, but the point they were making was, “We tune negativity out. We’re trying to solve the world’s next big problem with  successful start-ups.” And Cisco CEO John Chambers sailed in with a smile on his face and announced, “We’re hiring.” The recovery was just taking effect and you could see it first in Silicon Valley. Of course, that recovery has slowed and I’m so interested to see what tone everyone takes this year.

VB: How are you expecting it to be different this time?

LC: Each company is different. Intel’s story is one of blockbuster, record profits because it can capitalize on other areas of the globe recovering more strongly than the US. But the smaller guys like Nanosys may have a different take as they work hard to get companies to adopt their technology.

Rovi is knocking the cover off the ball, as is robotic surgery company Accuray, but Yahoo has serious challenges as we speak, as does TiVo. PayPal may have one of the most interesting stories. It now represents a huge part of eBay’s profits, but will Facebook try to muscle in on that business? There’s a potential for them to get shoved aside. How hard will they fight the Facebook machine?

Venture capitalist Alan Salzman just opened a VC fund in China. He’s a clean-tech guy who clearly sees that China’s killing it in the solar world, so he’s going where the action is.

Each company has a most unique story to tell, and I’m thrilled to tell it.

VB: What are some behind-the-scenes observations about setting these talks up and doing the interviews?

LC: First off, every single one of the big names, from the first year we did this, jumped on board. I must say, Intel was the first company to step up to the plate to say, “We’ll host you. Here’s the space, invite anyone you want and take over the place.” We had people parading in… CEOs from every Valley company showing up. We became the hot network to be on.

I recall one of the Valley tech blogs wrote up something to the effect of, “If you’re a CEO who isn’t booked for Fox Business’ “3 Days in the Valley,” fire your PR people.”

I’ll forever be grateful to Intel for recognizing that while Fox Business was the underdog in the world of business networks, they didn’t see that at all. They speak start-up, and they saw potential in us.

This year was a bit of a nail-biter because we had eBay and Intel locked in for locations, and we were in negotiations to go live from Hewlett-Packard for the third day. We were inches from sealing the deal when HP CEO Mark Hurd resigned. I was on the set anchoring my show when the news flashed. I emailed my “3 Days” producer Gary Kaye frantically and said, “Call Yahoo! See if they’ll do it!” I think it was eight minutes later I got a reply back that Yahoo had said, “No problem.” Whew.

And last year, we pulled off a Chinese fire drill of epic proportions when Eric Schmidt of Google said he could do an interview on Day 2 with us but due to some issue he needed to do it at Google. We were already live from the Computer museum, so we broke down all our equipment, rushed to Google, set it up again, did the interview, finished, rushed back to the museum and plugged everything back in because Levy Gerzberg of Zoran and Tesla’s Elon Musk were arriving. Another drama, but we pulled it off with minutes to spare.

VB: Who is the most memorable interview?

LC: Wow. Tough to break it down, but our first year, we did Day Two live from Stanford University’s business school and — again, this was three years ago — we booked the Twitter guys who, back then, weren’t nearly as big. Up until then their claim to fame was that an American student had been jailed in Egypt and tweeted his way out. So it was great to be in on the ground floor of covering a company that was on the verge of breaking out.

But perhaps the most exciting day was the first day at Intel our very first year. The company had just received word it was being investigated for antitrust behavior regarding AMD. Neither the company nor CEO Paul Otellini had officially commented to the media yet. I kept thinking, “He’s gonna cancel. They’re gonna kick us out.” Everyone at FBN was standing by in New York waiting. We knew the wire services were waiting for the interview with their fingers on their keyboards. Otellini came out and said, “Let’s do it” and answered everything. We made news while the other business networks were left having to quote us. That was gratifying.

Here’s this year’s 3-Days schedule:

3 Days in the Valley -2010

Day 1 – Monday, October 18th

eBay/PayPal campus – San Jose

ET

PT

name and title

10:30a

7:30a

Preview

11:10a

8:10a

Jack Tretton – CEO Sony Playstation –

11:40a

8:40a

Enrique Salem – CEO – Symantec

12:10p

9:10a

Tim Draper – mging Dir Draper, Fisher, Jervetson

1240p

940a

Jeff Wiener – CEO LinkedIn

1:10p

10:10a

Levy Gerzberg – CEO Zoran

1:40p

10:40a

Alan Salzman Mging Partner Vantage Point Venture Partners

2:10p

11:10a

John Donahoe CEO eBay

2:40p

11:40a

Jason Hartlove CEO NanoSys

310p

12:10p

John Donahoe CEO eBay tape Part II

340p

12:40p

Scott Thompson – President of PayPal

4:10p

1:10p

possible Enrique Salem part II

3 Days 2010 Day Two

Ocotber 19th

Intel Museum – Santa Clara CA

ET

PT

10:05a

7:05a

Paul Otellini – CEO Intel

11:10a

8:10a

Susan Choe – CEO Outspark

11:40a

8:40a

Greg Woock – CEO Pinger, Inc.

12:10p

9:10a

Tom Rogers – CEO Tivo

12:40p

9:40a

Fred Amoroso – CEO Rovi

1:10p

10:10a

John Riccitiello – CEO Electronic Arts

1:40p

10:40a

Euan S. Thomson, Ph.D – CEO Accuray

2:10p

11:10a

Shantanu Narayen CEO Adobe

2:40p

11:40a

Michael Splinter – CEO Applied Materials

3:10p

12:10p

Paul Otellini Part 2 plus morning SOT

3:40p

12:40p

Tim Westergren – CEO Pandora

4:10p

1:10p

Shantanu Narayen CEO Adobe Part II

3 Days – 2010 Day 3

Wednesday, October 20th

Yahoo HQ – Sunnyvale, CA

ET

PT

1030a

730a

Preview

11:10a

8:10a

Jonathan Wolfson – CEO Solazyme

11:40a

8:40a

Blake Irving – Yahoo EVP and chief products officer

12:10p

9:10a

Pat McIntyre CEO ET Water Systems, Inc.

12:40p

9:40a

Carol Bartz CEO YAHOO

1:10p

10:10a

Tom Rooney CEO SPG Solar

1:40p

10:40a

Carol Bartz Part II

2:10p

11:10a

Randi Komisar – Partner Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers

2:40p

11:40a

Robyn Goldman – CEO Smitten Ice Cream

3:10p

12:10p

TJ Rogers – CEO Cypress Semiconductor

3:40p

12:40p

Tom Werner – CEO SunPower

4:10p

1:10p

Kevin Johnson – CEO Juniper Networks