Local TV anchor Lynette Romero retuned to Angelenos’ TV screens on Monday, making her debut on NBC’s “Today in L.A.” morning newscast.
The Emmy Award-winning journalist greeted NBC audiences for the first time in the 4 o’clock hour Monday morning, telling viewers she has been “waiting for [Oct. 10] like you cannot believe.”
“I am so happy to be here,” a beaming Romero continued. “I keep saying this, but my heart is so full. You know how you feel like your heart is gonna burst when you’re so excited? That’s how I feel.”
Romero, 55, will co-anchor “Today in LA” from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays along with Adrian Arambulo, meteorologist Belen De Leon and traffic anchor Robin Winston — all of whom she thanked Monday for embracing her and making her feel welcome.
Scattered throughout Monday’s broadcast were “get to know you” segments gradually introducing Romero to the “Today in LA” audience. The first fun fact about herself that Romero offered viewers was that she likes to eat “french fries and nachos together.”
“It’s exciting. It’s fresh. It’s a little scary because there are a lot of eyeballs out there,” Romero admitted on her first day. “I think they’re kind of rubbing their eyes because they’re like, ‘Ooh, it’s 4 a.m., Romero. That is awfully early.’ So they’re in their PJs. They’re watching, and I’m so glad they’re there because I can feel you.”
“Lynette, we knew instantly whenever you joined us that you felt like family,” De Leon added, “so we know what everyone out there feels, and we’re so happy that you’re part of our team.”
She takes on the position vacated last year by Daniella Guzman, who moved to an NBC affiliate in her hometown of Houston
The former KTLA weekend morning news host last month abruptly left the independently owned station, where she worked for nearly 24 years, to join crosstown rival KNBC-TV Channel 4. Her departure was announced in a 37-second send-off during KTLA’s morning newscast that deeply upset fans and led to her former co-anchor Mark Mester unexpectedly lambasting the station’s management on air, alleging it mishandled the situation because Romero didn’t personally say goodbye to viewers. (Mester was suspended then fired shortly after.)
Romero reportedly wanted to stop working weekends at KTLA and had asked management there to allow her to work a weekday anchor shift so she could spend more time with her family, but she was told there were no openings.
Last Thursday, Romero wrote on Instagram that she had been “welcomed with a giant warm hug” at KNBC and shared the first of several promos that had been made for her debut.
“It’s funny how you can immediately connect,” Romero told KNBC on Thursday after a rehearsal with the new crew. “I’m looking forward, I’m ready.”
On Friday, she hosted a Facebook Live session to show viewers around KNBC’s Los Angeles newsroom and plug the station’s mobile app.