Daniella Guzman: Emmy Award-Winning Journalist and Hometown Girl Climbs the Ladder to Success

Daniella Guzman with husband Hector Villegas.

Daniella Guzman with husband Hector Villegas.

By Michelle Johnson –

At an early age, Sugar Land’s Daniella Guzman remembers being fascinated with international and local news always wondering “Why?” and “What For?” According to Guzman, “It all started when I was little, and I hoped by the year 2000, I would figure out who killed President John F. Kennedy.” Guzman’s constant quest for answers led to her prominent career as a reporter.

Hometown Girl

Guzman grew up in Fort Bend County. “Sugar Land will always be my hometown. I’m a proud Ranger from Clements High School and a proud graduate of the University of St. Thomas in Houston. I did internships and small jobs at advertising agencies, FOX 26, Univision, Telemundo,  Televisa in Mexico and The Houston Chronicle.”

Guzman explained that the path she followed to find her place in the world of television was not a straight and narrow one toward her goal. “Along the way, I did sales, advertising and marketing to get my foot in the door. I made a personal effort to reach out to people who could teach me something. Networking made a big difference in my career.”

 Dreams Come True

“In 2006, I landed the gig I had dreamed of at KPRC Channel 2 in Houston,” shared Guzman. As a weekend anchor and general assignments reporter, Guzman was one of the first reporters on the scene during the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage. Some of the most memorable stories she covered at Channel 2  include Hurricane Ike, the BP Oil Spill and the 2011 day care center fire that killed three children and injured four. But her most memorable moment during her time at Channel 2 was the birth of her daughter, Sofia. Guzman was one of five newswomen at the station who gave birth in the first half of 2011, and the only one to have a girl.

 

Daughter Sofia Villegas and Daniella Guzman.

Daughter Sofia Villegas and Daniella Guzman.

Difficult Choices

In February of 2012, Guzman left Channel 2 to join NBC Channel 5 in Chicago as co-anchor for the morning newscast. According to Guzman, “Leaving my hometown for Chicago was very difficult for me. It’s hard to be away from such an incredible city and community like Sugar Land, but I knew that this move was for a much better career opportunity.”

Guzman visits Sugar Land as often as possible. “My parents still live in my childhood home so it is so comforting to come back to my neighborhood. I still go to the same places, my favorite restaurants, and of course, where I spent so much time as a teenager, First Colony Mall. It’s so special to take my daughter and show her where I grew up. I feel so relaxed and at peace when I visit Sugar Land. I especially love running into my old friends and neighbors.”

 Another Step Up the Ladder to Success

This Sugar Land native has continued to move up the ladder in Broadcast Journalism at a very fast pace. After two years of success in Chicago, Guzman’s Emmy award-winning journalism skills continue to bring new opportunities her way. A new step on her ladder to success brings an offer to co-anchor the Today in LA morning newscast at NBC Channel 4 in  Los Angeles.

“This is an amazing opportunity for me. After two incredible years in Chicago, we are ready to take this leap of faith. My husband is very supportive of my career, and with a young daughter, we believe it is a great time to make this move.”

Guzman has been in California for a few weeks but commented that parts of Los Angeles remind her of Sugar Land and Houston. “I really miss the laid back family community Sugar Land represents. I always felt very safe growing up there. I loved that I knew my neighbors, and I could run around with my friends in a safe environment.  I’m really hoping to find something like that for my family in Los Angeles.”

Guzman begins her new position on Today in LA this summer. Fort Bend Focus wishes our hometown girl much success in her new endeavor!