Award-winning journalist Karla Leal is the anchor of our Spectrum New 1 Texas’ Saturday evening newscasts, and the host of our weekly public affairs show, In Focus Texas. She’s honored to gain the trust of the community and her interviewees and to have the opportunity to tell impactful stories.
Karla was born and raised in the Mexican town of Tijuana, which borders California’s San Diego County. This gave her the advantage of growing up bilingual while embracing the richness of both countries.
For over 16 years, Karla has covered an array of topics in states including Texas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Florida, and abroad in several parts of Mexico.
This bilingual Latina journalist is no stranger to the lone star state. Karla is one of the original members of the team that launched the first local Spanish-language newscasts for Telemundo Austin in the capital city. For about four years, she anchored their broadcasts, and she also reported on special topics for sister station KEYE TV. Some examples include her reporting on the development of the Tejano Monument at our state capitol. She also offered continued coverage of the inaugural Formula 1 Races at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack.
Karla then spent nine years as a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor at Telemundo Chicago in the Windy City. There, she also was a substitute correspondent for Telemundo’s national newscasts.
Her work with the NBC 5/Telemundo Chicago investigative unit in the news series “Persecuciones Mortales,” or deadly pursuits, earned Karla an Emmy and a Peter Lisagor award. It was a series that explored the aftermath of police pursuits gone wrong, where innocent bystanders died or were severely injured. Karla will never forget those families and the pain they still endure.
As an immigrant, Karla follows border topics closely. She’s also covered other beats including politics, police, the pandemic, natural disasters, health, and education.
Karla is passionate about conducting effective and versatile interviews in both English and Spanish. She puts those skills to work regularly as she interviews lawmakers, leaders, and other change-makers.
Karla considers herself an adoptive “Tejana” and says the Texas spirit has never left her. She married a Texas native at Mission Concepcion, the oldest unrestored stone church in America, and her favorite spot in the state,
Here in Texas, Karla also became a marathoner and a stand-up paddling enthusiast. She has completed seven marathons, including the ones in Austin and San Antonio. In her free time, you might find her visiting parks and museums with her daughter or the whole family, going out for a run with her dog, or dancing the night out to Latin rhythms with her husband and friends.
You can reach out to Karla via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook as Karla Leal, or on Instagram and TikTok as @KarlaLealTV