KTLA Trio Wakes LA Up
by michael ventre
Really, it’s wrong. No one should be as attractive, witty, informative, smart, and likeable at 4:30 in the morning as the KTLA 5 Morning News trio. It makes the rest of us look bad.
Yet there they are, every weekday morning—looking all perky and smiley. Not even one droopy eyelid. It defies nature.
Coanchors Chris Schauble and Megan Henderson, along with “weather dude” Henry DiCarlo, handle KTLA’s hosting chores from 4:30 to 7 AM each weekday. Besides delivering a deft mixture of lighthearted features and serious news, they’re entrusted with the colossal task of waking viewers up, keeping them up, entertaining them, and making them feel like family.
And LA’s early risers must like what they see, because the Schauble-Henderson-DiCarlo telecast recently reached number one among local morning news shows in the key 25–54 age demographic. “Huge, huge,” says Henderson, “considering we were number four a year ago when we were put together. [Our ratings are] still going up—that’s how we feel about it. We love our show; we love what we do, and we’re not done yet.”
The three were not recruited out of Comedy Central’s green room, even though it may seem like it at times. Each has the experience and breaking-news cred to qualify them for just about any broadcast-journalism position. But they also have fun. “One of the things I consistently hear is, ‘You guys give us the hard news, but then you also make us laugh—routinely,’” says Schauble. “And that’s invaluable. They understand where we’re coming from. It’s not a comedy show, but we’re allowed to be ourselves, and some of the things are just funny.”
They needle each other like brothers and sisters in the backseat of a station wagon on a family road trip. “I often joke that I don’t think management really watches our show—I think it’s too early,” says DiCarlo. “Because if they heard some of the things that come out of our mouths they would be, like, ‘Whoa.’ But then they’d see the ratings and say, ‘Okay, we have something good here.’”
The whole dynamic at the KTLA 5 Morning News is akin to a verbal pillow fight. But the coanchors connect—with one another, and with the public. They’re all social-media fiends, and DiCarlo’s iPad is often the source for tips, as well as kudos, from viewers. The anchors share personal anecdotes with their audience—and viewers do the same in return—and discuss local restaurants, businesses, community events, nostalgia, and just about anything LA. The result is like one big video welcome mat.
“I grew up watching this show,” says Henderson, a native of Southern California. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to get into this business, because I loved KTLA 5 Morning News. And now, lo and behold, this many years later, here we are.”
photography by brian kuhlmann
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.