Canadian-born "KTLA Morning News" anchor Michaela Pereira never expected to wind up as a news anchor in Los Angeles, especially for nine years. And she really never imagined that she would be working as a news anchor in the Big Apple.
But one came true, and the other is on the horizon.
Pereira wound up her nine-year stint at KTLA on Thursday in a tearful but cheerful goodbye. Today, she is packing her bags for her new adventure as the news anchor for CNN's new morning show "New Day" premiering June 17.
Her new teammates are Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, who will host the show live from New York City from 6 to 9 a.m. EST (that's 3 to 6 a.m. for us West Coasters).
Pereira shared her thoughts on her past and new stint during a telephone interview this week:
What are you feeling as you're saying goodbye to Los Angeles and the station where you've worked for the last nine years?
I was surprised at winding up in Los Angeles in the first place. But I've been overwhelmed by this community that welcomed me. I'm coming from the Bay Area, and I was bowled over by the city and communities I found here. I found my people here. When you scratch the surface of Los Angeles, you discover each of these tremendous communities. And KTLA allowed me to be me.
Viewers and fans of the morning news were surprised by the news that you were leaving.
When you're in a position like mine, you always have your ears to the ground. CNN and I have talked over the years about various projects — I'm always willing to have a conversation. But it wasn't until the last few months that they really caught my attention. The conversation changed when it was clear they were going in a new direction. And when they started talking about what they wanted to do in the morning, my ears perked up. My manner and rhythm are best in the morning. I'm a personality, and mornings have always been a better fit for me.
What will the show be like?
We're not trying to reinvent the wheel. We are hoping to bring a fresh approach to the morning. All three of us have different lives and come from different parts of the globe, but we share a natural desire to tell good stories.
With you being a news anchor, will you be in another part of the studio?
They want to have the three of us on the set together. I'm not going to be off by myself. The cohesiveness will be there. It will be very similar to the format at KTLA. There's going to be an ongoing conversation with the three of us.
There's been a lot of focus on the turmoil in the world of morning television lately, and a lot of scrutiny about the changes at CNN. Are you concerned about getting into all that?
I have to turn a blind eye to all that distraction. I really can't pay attention to it, and I'm choosing not to. I have a job to do. People are going to feel the way they feel, but I hope they give us a chance. It's the first day of school.
What's the biggest challenge for you personally in moving cross country?
I've lived on the West Coast my entire life. The East Coast has always been a mystery to me. It's a little terrifying, but I've going to take my West Coast vibe out there. I'm relishing having four seasons. But I am real anxious about the subway. but I've survived the 405, so how bad can it really be?