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HLN Sends Michaela Pereira To Court West Coast Morning-News Fans

Michaela Pereira had to journey back to a familiar place in order to deliver something different.

When the veteran newscaster appears on HLN this morning at 10 a.m. eastern in her anchoring debut on the network, many people who watch her will be closer to lunch than stepping out of bed. But the show, which will broadcast from her old stomping grounds of Los Angeles, is not geared solely for them. For viewers from Seattle to Sacramento, Pereira will deliver the latest information about what happened while they were asleep, anchoring what will also be a sort of “national” morning show for viewers on the West Coast.

“I like to meet people where they are the best I can, “said Pereira in a recent interview.

She is about to encounter them, all the while attempting a delicate juggling act of wooing two different audiences – one that has started its day, another preparing to do just that. It’s a different assignment than her last one, where she helped Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota deliver crack-of-dawn news to the nation at CNN’s “New Day.”

Her secret to giving all her audiences something they want? A signature style that is supposed to help HLN become more of a destination during the day, when audiences want quick updates on breaking news and insights behind the headlines.

CNN, the network’s sister outlet, is increasingly focusing on wall to wall coverage of the news cycle’s biggest stories. HLN, meanwhile, is hoping Preeira and Erica Hill, slated to launch a new program in a few months’ time, will build on the success of Robin Meade in the early-morning hours, where her roost outside New York City has proved alluring to audiences in places like Cleveland and Atlanta.

Expect what Pereira calls “a West Coast vibe” to be part of the proceedings. “It’s a little more conversational, a little more ‘take-the-edge-off,’a warm embrace,” explained Scott Warren, the producer behind the program. “The subject matter we are going to take on is real and just as solid as any, but wer are going to embrace viewers in a warm way.

She has done it before, serving as the host of KTLA’s morning program for nine years and even taking a turn at anchoring the station’s coverage of the annual Tournament of Roses parade. To tap into that success, HLN has paired her with Warren, her producer at the Tribune Media outlet.

Whether viewers are tuning in to her in the morning or the late morning,  Pereira, thinks she can win them over. “I feel like it needs to be a conversation with people ,” she said. “ I want them to get familiar and comfortable with me, familiar and comfortable with the group of people who are my regulars.”  Maribel Aber, a CNN financial correspondent ,is expected to deliver money and business news while  Andy Scholes, will deliver sports updates. It’s an arrangement that might be familiar to fans of Meade’s “Morning Express,” where Jennifer Westhoven keeps viewers up to date on financial matters, Bob Van Dillen tackles the weather, and Coy Wire and Hines Ward grapples with sports.

Chances are Pereira will be busy, but not busy enough to get a good amount of shut-eye. “Get your sleep, “she advised. “If you are well rested, ou can roll with most of the punches.  A lot of things break in the morning. A lot of things change. If you are well-rested, you can handle it.”

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