TAMPA, Fla. — As I look across Tampa Bay, it is clear I don't subscribe to the adage, "You can never go home again."
After anchoring at 10 Tampa Bay for 12 years, my career propelled me coast-to-coast. During that time, the Tampa Bay area transformed, but the friendly people and warm sunshine remain. I'm thrilled to be back anchoring the 6 and 11 p.m. news in the place we call home.
I have learned a lot from anchoring and reporting in cities like Seattle, Charlotte and Cincinnati. My time on the road with NBC News Channel gave me an up-close look at triumph and tragedy. I covered the 2016 presidential campaign, witnessed the grief of the Charleston church massacre and marveled at the dedication of athletes while covering the Olympics in Sochi and London. One of the lessons I learned along the way is that there is no place like the Tampa Bay area.
My passion for news is fueled by my curiosity. A week after my honeymoon, I went undercover as an inmate in jail to investigate overcrowding, understaffing and an alarming number of inmate suicides.
While working at 10 Tampa Bay, I was tipped that accused Nazi war criminals, living overseas, were receiving Social Security checks after fleeing the United States. My investigation took me to Eastern Europe to confront the men accused of committing genocide. The stories and documentary compelled Congress to introduce, "The Nazi Benefits Termination Act."
I have been honored with dozens of Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards for my reporting, but the real honor has been meeting the unique people who share their stories with me. You have changed my outlook on life.
One of the most memorable moments came during a late night phone call to the 10 Tampa Bay newsroom. Identical twin sisters, Flo and Kay Lyman, called to welcome me to the Tampa Bay area. I would later discover they are the world's only identical twin sisters with autism known to be savants. Their ability to recall information is incredible, and their view of the world is unique. Their memories are similar to Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie, "Rain Man." Three decades later, Flo and Kay remain my close friends, and they continue to call me every week.
Those interactions are the fuel that keeps me going. I look forward to seeing those of you I know and meeting the many new residents of Tampa Bay. I am grateful to be living in this remarkable and dynamic area we call home and look forward to sharing your stories.
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