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New show draws former CHEK personality home to the West Coast

Michaela Pereira is coming home to the West Coast — not to Victoria, but Los Angeles.
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Michaela Pereira at her CNN anchor desk. The veteran broadcaster got her start in Victoria as co-host of CHEK Around in the mid-1990s.

Michaela Pereira is coming home to the West Coast — not to Victoria, but Los Angeles.

The CNN anchor, who began her broadcasting career at CHEK in 1994, will be leaving her New York post as co-anchor of CNN’s New Day on April 29 to anchor a new morning show on sister channel HLN in Los Angeles.

The format of Pereira’s new three-hour news show will be modeled on HLN’s Morning Express With Robin Meade, returning her to the city where she co-anchored KTLA Morning News for nine years.

The 45-year-old Pereira said it has been exciting and challenging working with New Day’s Chris Cuomo and his co-hosts Kate Bolduan and Alisyn Camerota. Pereira joined CNN in 2013

The Saskatoon-born broadcaster, who attended high school in 100 Mile House before moving to Victoria and co-hosting CHEK Around with Gordie Tupper, said she has always had a soft spot for Los Angeles.

“What [living in New York] has done for me is it has really underlined that I’m a West Coast girl,” Pereira said during a visit to Victoria last fall to shoot footage for The Person Who Changed My Life, a CNN special she co-hosted with Anderson Cooper. It featured several CNN stars reflecting on people who inspired them. Pereira expressed gratitude to former CHEK producer Moyra Rodgers.

One of the drawbacks about living in New York was that she was farther away from her loved ones, including her parents and siblings on southern Vancouver Island, said Pereira, who attended Camosun College and the University of Victoria.

Tupper said it didn’t surprise him that his old friend would end up back on the West Coast.

“She considers it her home, let’s put it that way,” he said. “Michaela certainly enjoyed New York and all it has to offer, but she has a house there [in Los Angeles] and her significant other lives there.”

Pereira has admitted it was “a grand surprise” when she was invited to launch New Day from New York’s Time Warner Center three years ago.

It was an offer she couldn’t refuse, however, and an adventure she has never regretted.

Her new weekday show, which will follow Morning Express and be broadcast from CNN’s Hollywood studios on Sunset Boulevard starting in June, has not yet been titled.

In an internal staff memo confirming Pereira’s transition, Ken Jautz, CNN’s executive vice-president, described Pereira as “a perfect fit” for HLN’s news style.

“We hit the jackpot with Michaela,” Jautz said. “Her infectious personality, news hosting chops and distinct interviewing skills will be front and centre.”

If the reception she got from KTLA Los Angeles personality Sara Welch while reporting on the Oscars last month is any indication, Pereira will be welcomed back to the City of Angels with open arms.

“We love you and miss you,” Welch told Pereira, who suddenly found herself on the opposite side of the camera for an impromptu on-air interview.

With Bolduan having moved to CNN’s @ThisHour, New Day’s Cuomo — whom Pereira describes as her “brother from another mother” — will be the last remaining member of its original team.

Pereira told New Day staffers about the move at the end of Tuesday’s show.

mreid@timescolonist.com

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