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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Erika and Blake Holland: KLTV Tyler's married anchor team

Erika and Blake Holland were married in June of 2021 after meeting each other at KLTV 7 Tyler. In October 2022, Erika left "Good Morning East Texas" and began co-anchoring with Blake on the station's evening newscasts. 

Erika Holland left KLTV 7 Tyler

Erika and Blake Holland add to KLTV family

Rashi Vats's 5pm anchor journey is a Texas story of hard work and love
Yes, Justin Stapleton and Brandi Smith are a couple
San Antonio TV reporters marry each other
KBTX has a married anchor team
Natassia Paloma and Trevor J. Thompson are expecting

On Valentine's Day 2023, the Tyler TV couple talk to about married life and anchoring the news together. 

And keep reading until the end for a surprise announcement!

Mike McGuff: So how has it been going these last few months since you started anchoring together?

Erika: The last few months of anchoring together have been a really exciting learning opportunity. After six years on "Good Morning East Texas," I feel myself flexing new muscles as a producer and anchor. Getting to do that with my husband makes that transition feel really safe and reassuring by the time we get to the desk. 

Blake: I always thought it would be difficult to work alongside my wife. I quickly found out that was not the case. Not only do I call Erika my 5 p.m. co-anchor, she's also my show producer. The relationship between an anchor and producer who are not married is already one that involves a great level of trust. Now, imagine it being the real thing. Same goes for anchoring. 

MM: What was it like working on different schedules?

Erika: I always liked working on opposite schedules! I got to run errands during the day and create my own sleep schedule according to my needs. I think working overnights takes a unique type of person and I very much fit that type. That being said, not having to leave my sleeping husband at 11:45pm is pretty priceless. 

Blake: I was not a fan of Erika working overnights. Mostly because I saw how brutal it was on her. While she absolutely loved the shift, I watched her fight through migraines and exhaustion that resulted from the weekend switches. I enjoy the fact that we can now have breakfast, go on morning walks, and sleep through the night together. I'm also happy that she no longer falls asleep during a Friday night movie :)

MM: Early on, was there a particular moment you realized there was a love connection?

Erika: Despite the fact that we were desk mates, Blake and I didn't cross paths for a few months, given our opposite work schedules. When I did meet him, I found his intelligent humor charming... but our spark wouldn't really ignite until weeks later at an after-work dinner. Our small talk turned into an hours-long conversation... and there's never been a day we haven't spoken since. 

Blake: While the dinner was definitely when sparks flew, there was a notable interaction before that night. As Erika mentioned, we're desk mates that never saw each other because of the opposite shifts. The first time I really noticed her was a rare moment when she was working on a franchise piece during the day. She was eating a giant takeout container of spaghetti at her desk. Is there anything more attractive? That's when I really took interest in the cute morning girl. 

MM:  Is it ever difficult to work with your spouse so closely?

Erika: Yes. Because I care about achieving his goals just as much as I do mine. He knows that I am not above asking him for feedback or help. Fortunately, Blake and I share a lot of the same decision-making qualities... and I know in the end he trust-falls into the newscasts I produce and the storytelling we landed on. 

Blake: I wouldn't say it's any more difficult than working with other colleagues. I find it easier to have honest conversations with Erika that result in a better product for the viewer. Having a co-anchor is like having a spouse anyway. Might as well be the real thing! 

Blake Holland, KLTV Chief Meteorologist Mark Scirto, Erika Bazaldua Holland 

MM:  Anything else you want to add?

Erika: I feel really fortunate to have had my husband walk right into my life in such a fun way. People always tease us about how much time we spend together... but the truth is, we really are the best of friends and I couldn't imagine being in this industry without someone who loves news and journalism the way he does. Soon after we switched to the East Texas News at 5 together... we found out we are pregnant! We welcome our first child this summer! God is good. 

Blake: When pairing a husband and wife up to co-anchor a newscast, I think there's always a question about the distraction it could create. Erika and I care deeply about our work and the people of East Texas. We're very aware that we are not the news and are committed to using our relationship to produce better broadcast journalism. The last thing our industry needs are people who care more about being television personalities than real journalists. As Erika mentioned, we're preparing to welcome our future news producer... er... first child this summer. We feel so incredibly blessed. 

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