Former KEYT television anchor and Emmy Award-winning journalist Paula Lopez, in a candid conversation with Santa Barbara Talks, opens up about her career as a journalist, recovery from alcohol addiction, and a new start as a Realtor and activist.
In 1990, Lopez joined KCAL9 and became the original anchor of the highly rated News at Noon, where she covered Operation Desert Storm, the Los Angeles Floods of 1992, the Northridge Earthquake, the O.J. Simpson
Murder Trial and the Los Angeles Riots.
Later at KEYT, Lopez anchored, wrote and helped produce nightly broadcasts. She interviewed a Cold War spy who was left behind during the era of Cold War prisoner swaps, the Tea, Gap and Jesusita wildfires, and the 2014 mass shooting and stabbing in Isla Vista, among other big stories.
Her career stalled in 2015, however, after a drunken-driving arrest that drew high levels of local attention. Lopez talks about her battle with alcohol as a way to help others.
“As I got older, the anxiety and depression got worse, and I found alcohol, at the time, to be a really good way to self-medicate,” Lopez says on SBT. “And it worked, and it helped until it didn’t. It really grabbed a hold of me, and I didn’t know that’s what could happen.”
Lopez now works as a Realtor, community activist and volunteer. She also works on her own independent video projects.
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