Local TV anchor Lynette Romero returned 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 L.A.” 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 L.A.” audience. The first fun fact about herself that Romero offered viewers was that she likes to eat “french fries and nachos together.”
KNBC announces that anchor Lynette Romero, who abruptly left crosstown rival KTLA, will join its early newscast, ‘Today in L.A.,’ on Oct. 10.
“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.
KTLA rebuffed a request by a Southern California Latino journalists group to meet with station executives to discuss diversity.
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. Mester alleged that KTLA 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.
During Monday’s NBC broadcast, Romero offered some candid insight into her sudden exit from KTLA, revealing she had “no idea” that a show she taped in mid-September would be her last.
Mark Mester, a co-anchor on KTLA’s popular weekend morning show, went off script over the weekend to talk about Lynette Romero’s sudden departure.
“You know how contract negotiations go — or maybe you don’t — but it’s not fun,” she said. “So then I actually never went back … a little over a month, but it feels like forever. And people … have been saying, ‘When are you coming back? Where have you been? I miss you.’ … I’ve missed you guys too.”
Romero added that since departing KTLA, she has received a “touching” and “overwhelming” wave of support from viewers who have watched her for decades.
“There’s a woman who reached out to me … and she said, ‘You were there when when my husband died, and I’m gonna be there for you tomorrow,’ ” Romero recalled. “I just think that’s so special … They’ve been there with me through all my ups and downs in my life, so I think that’s how you connect with people.”
Lynette Romero seems excited about her new job at onetime rival station KNBC. Here’s how, when and where to see the former KTLA star’s Monday debut.
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.
“I’m definitely in good hands. Standby for more! I wasn’t kidding when I said our #nbcla team is amazing. #4lynette #todayinla,” she added.
“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.
It's a date
Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week's best events, to help you explore and experience our city.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
Nardine Saad covers breaking entertainment news, trending culture topics, celebrities and their kin for the Los Angeles Times. She joined The Times in 2010 as a MetPro trainee and has reported from homicide scenes, flooded canyons, red carpet premieres and award shows.
Subscribe for unlimited access