Former KTLA anchor Lynette Romero makes her KNBC debut on ‘Today In LA’

News anchor Lynette Romero made her debut on KNBC-TV’s “Today In LA” early Monday, Oct. 10, launching a new chapter in her career after 24 years at rival station KTLA-TV.

Romero’s departure from KTLA in September became big news itself when her KTLA co-anchor Mark Mester sharply criticized the station on the air for how it handled Romero’s departure. Mester was suspended and later fired. 

None of that baggage followed Romero to KNBC where the “Today In LA” team welcomed her with more warmth and laughter than anyone should expect at 4 a.m. on a Monday morning.

“Good morning, it’s Oct. 10. I’m Adrian Arambulo and this is a very special news day for us here at “Today In LA’ because we have a new addition to the family,” co-anchor Arambulo announced as Romero, meteorologist Belen De Leon, and traffic anchor Robin Winston beamed.

“It’s 10/10! I have been waiting for 10/10 like you cannot believe,” replied Romero, who wore a sleeveless forest green dress for her first day at her new job.

“Good morning to you all,” she continued. “I am so happy to be here. I keep saying this, but my heart is so full. You know how you feel like your heart is like going to burst when you are so excited? That’s how I feel. I’m super happy to be here.

“Thank you for having me here,” Romero continued. “Thanks to you guys for making me welcome. I can’t even tell you how much. You guys have just embraced me.”

Arambulo told her the feeling was mutual and asked her how it felt to be at KNBC after “a long time here in town with another station.”

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“This has got to be new for you, exciting and fresh,” Arambulo said.

“It is new, and exactly, it’s all those things,” she answered, then referring to the sleep viewers out there. “I think they’re all kind of like rubbing their eyes, ‘Oh, 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.”

De Leon added her welcome, saying she, Winston, and Arambulo knew as soon as they met Romero – just a week ago – that it felt right she should join them.

“We knew instantly, whenever you joined us, you felt like family immediately,” De Leon said. “So we know whatever everybody out there feels. And we’re so happy to have you part of our team.”

By 4:02 a.m., the introduction was finished, though Arambulo tipped viewers that the rest of the morning would feature “getting-to-know-you-type segments” about Romero.

De Leon then delivered the first weather report of the show, Winston the first traffic report, before Arambulo introduced the morning’s lead story – explosions in Kyiv – before handing off the rest of the story for Romero to deliver.

At 4:15 a.m., the first getting-to-know-you segment arrived.

“Did you know that Lynette survived a helicopter crash in the Colorado mountains covering a news story in the ’90s?” an unseen narrator asked as vintage video showed the crash site and Romero back then. “Amazingly, she walked away with moderate injuries and her courageous story was featured in a documentary.

“And did you know that if Lynette wasn’t a news anchor she’d be a doctor or a teacher? She was pre-med until scholarships and grants ran out and she switched to journalism. She vows in her next life she’ll be a doctor caring for preemies in the NICU.

“Now you know.”

And so the morning unfolded. Laughter between serious news and weather and traffic, as well as sweet moments that demonstrated the charisma and heart that has made Romero such a favorite of early morning TV news.

At one point Arambulo asked how she felt about the outpouring of support she’d received since leaving KTLA for KNBC. Romero said she’d been stunned by the response.

“You have no idea that through this little screen we can literally connect,” she said, making a heart shape with her hands. “And that’s how I feel.”

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