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Michelle Valles hits L.A. and big-time TV

Austin Photo: Author_Jim Mcnabb

Former Austin TV news anchor Michelle Valles just hit the big time:  Starting Monday, April 9, 2012, she will join NBC owned and operated KNBC in Los Angeles as co-anchor of the weekend morning, “L.A. Today” newscasts. She will also report during the week. “I never thought I'd end up here, but when I crossed the California state line, strangely it felt like home. I love the Latin community, laid back culture and open mindedness,” Valles said.

Valles once won “Best Anchor” from the Associated Press Broadcasters of Texas when she co-anchored with Robert Hadlock at KXAN-TV (NBC). Before that, she was a main anchor in El Paso. She also launched the 4 o’clock “We Are Austin Live” show with Jason Wheeler on KEYE-TV (CBS) several years ago.

Since leaving KEYE, the UT-Austin graduate wrote a popular magazine column for ATX Man, in which she gave a “woman’s perspective” on man related topics. Her national broadcast debut was in May 2011 on HBO Latino for the award-winning series, "Habla Texas," and she launched her acting career this past summer, appearing in musicals, "A Ride with Bob," featuring Ray Benson, and “Asleep at the Wheel.” She was also cast in the popular ABC family teenage drama, "The Lying Game," and the upcoming Christmas feature film "When Angels Sing," starring Harry Connick Jr., Connie Britton, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson.

Now, she’s in La-La Land where Wednesday she put her toes in the sand of the Pacific Ocean before she has to show up for work.

“My goal is to stay my authentic self and to not get caught up," Michelle says. “The energy here is amazing with so many driven and creative types that it encourages me to give it all I've got, while taking time to enjoy life and the blessings of my life. I feel like I hit the job lottery.”

But it’s not all good in the big city: “The not so good things of LA from what I've witnessed: A lot of unhappy people, you don't talk to strangers, it's a little click-ish, high rent, horrendous traffic.”

It’s not all bad either:  “Good things about LA:  A lot of happy people, you don't talk to strangers, LA is full of great people and you run into celebrity types all the time which is still exciting for me.”

“The key is to have a great group of friends.  My social group consists of former colleagues, old pals, and friends of friends,” Valles continued.  “And also the key to sanity here is to live close to work, I'm told. And to never forget LA has a beach and Runyon Park to go hiking which I've been doing lots of — I love it here so far!”

“We are delighted to welcome Michelle to the NBC 4 team,” said Steve Carlston, KNBC’s president and general manager. “Her experience as a broadcast journalist, along with her energy, wit and creativity, will greatly contribute to our newscast.”

“I can’t begin to tell you how honored I am to be working with such a talented group of news professionals,” said Valles. “NBC4 is known for its history of integrity and I’m thrilled to become a part of it.”

© Jim McNabb, 2012

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