Michaela Pereira received a heartfelt send-off from CNN's "New Day" program Friday before heading back to Los Angeles, where she'll have a new program on HLN.
Morning TV show transitions are rarely voluntary, but Pereira's departure is a personal choice. A popular longtime anchor on KTLA in Los Angeles, Pereira left friends and family to move to New York for the "New Day" assignment in 2013.
In her goodbye to "New Day" co-anchors Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota, she acknowledged that the cross-country move was not easy.
"This was one of the hardest, biggest challenges ever in my personal life, in my professional life. I've told people and I'll say it again, this was my Everest," Pereira said. "I felt at times that I might be running out of oxygen, that I might be getting some altitude sickness, and it was this family that got me through those times."
"You should take comfort that in the fact you matter," said Cuomo, who took pleasure in bantering with his co-anchor and expressed mixed emotions throughout the morning about her new opportunity.
Pereira will be back on the air starting some time in June when she anchors a live, three-hour daytime news program on CNN's sister channel HLN. She will be based in CNN's Los Angeles bureau on Sunset Boulevard.
Pereira's new program will follow HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade" and have a similar, breezy tone that covers more stories in regions outside of New York and Washington, D.C. The program is part of an ongoing revamp of HLN, which used to be known as CNN Headline News.
On the West Coast, where Pereira has many fans from her days on KTLA, her new program will essentially serve as a live morning show, competing with NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America" and "CBS This Morning." The three broadcast network programs air live in the Eastern time zone and on tape delay with updates in the rest of the country.
Pereira joined CNN when "New Day" was launched with Cuomo and Kate Bolduan. In 2015, Bolduan moved to another CNN program, "At This Hour," and was replaced by Camerota.