Leyna Nguyen is an award-winning Vietnamese-American former television anchor and reporter who set a record by anchoring the news on two stations (KCBS and KCAL-TV) on the same market, thereby becoming the first newscaster to ever do so in broadcast history. Leyna is also an actress known for a number of movies such as Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014).
Nguyen takes pride in describing herself as an Emmy-Award winning journalist and philanthropist with an “extensive celebrity and media connections”. Also a voice-over artist, Leyna has proven herself to be very versatile as she is an experienced crisis communicator, public relations officer, and event planner.
Tracing Leyna Nguyen’s Family Background and Education
Leyna Nguyen was born on the 13th of December 1969 in Dong Ha, Vietnam. The former television personality moved to the United States as a child in 1975 and settled in Minnesota. Apart from these facts, the media personality hasn’t been forthcoming with details surrounding her upbringing and the family she hails from.
Nonetheless, she has been very true to her heritage as an Asian and utilizes every chance she gets to advocate for causes or policies that would benefit her people.
She studied Mass Communication at Webster University in St. Louis and while there, she was the “Morning Drive” DJ for jazz radio station WEBU, and also worked as a substitute teacher.
Career Journey So Far
Upon her graduation, Leyna Nguyen got a job in Augusta, Georgia as an anchor/reporter in CBS-affiliate WRDW-TV in June 1992 and worked there until December 1993 when she moved over to NBC-affiliate KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California. At KCRA-TV, she served as the host of a quarterly program on Asian-American issues. In December 1997, Leyna landed a job as an anchor in KCAL and was responsible for anchoring the 4 pm and 9 pm newscasts from Monday to Friday. When the independent station merged with KCBS in 2002 to form KCAL-KCBS, she became the nation’s first anchor to present the news on two different local stations.
Also in 1997, the then-journalist founded a charity organization known as Love Across the Ocean (LATO) which gives a better life to impoverished children and their families by providing basic human needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. The organization, among other things, enables good education by building and renovating schools in addition to pairing students up with sponsors who will pay for the cost of their schooling. Although much of the work is done in Leyna Nguyen’s homeland of Vietnam, LATO also works in Los Angeles, California.
Leyna Nguyen has appeared as herself in more than 30 TV shows and movies, including Without a Trace, Boston Legal, Pushing Daisies, NCIS: Los Angele, Perfect Citizen, The Fix, Price of Glory, Austin Powers in Goldmember, and Two and a Half Men.
Recognition and Career Achievements
Leyna Nguyen counts LATO among the most significant things she has accomplished. In addition to that, she won the Emmy Award thrice. The media personality is quite an achiever; way back in 1987, she emerged winner of Miss Asia beauty pageant and in 1996, she was named The World Young Women’s Christian Association (World YWCA) Woman of the year. That’s not all; she was named among 25 Most Influential Vietnamese-Americans in 2000 and the following year, the California State Legislature, in recognition of her philanthropic work, honoured her as Woman of the Year.
In 2015, the Asian Real Estate Association of America honoured her as the Humanitarian of the Year. Among other prestigious accolades, she won the Society of Professional Journalists Award for Best News Special in 1994, the Radio Television Digital News Association award for Best News Special the following year, and another award from the American Lung Association in 1997.
The Truth About Her Resignation
After 20 years and 9 months of working in KCAL-KCBS, Leyna decided that it was time to move on. She announced on Facebook on July 29, 2018, that she had decided to leave her position at KCAL9 and leave the news business altogether, at least for now.
According to her, the reason for this is because she wants to concentrate on the most important job she has – being a mom. In addition to that, the three-time Emmy winner said she also intends to work on audiobooks in her home studio and take on more charity work.
Having spent over twenty years in the news business, Leyna Nguyen decided to use her extensive and relevant experience in helping others navigate the media. In a bid to achieve this, she established LeynaNguyen.net in July 2018, where she works as a media consultant.
All That Is Known About Leyna Nguyen’s Family Life
The former television anchor was once married to Michael Muriano. They met in 2003 and after two years of dating, they got married on April 11, 2005, in a traditional Vietnamese wedding officiated by a Buddhist monk. The couple’s union was blessed with two children: a son named Dylan and a daughter called Kyla.
The latter was born on the 11th of July and the former came along on the 29th of April. Sadly, after some years of being married, Leyna Nguyen and her husband parted ways. However, details of their divorce have remained a secret.
In 2013, Leyna started dating Kato Kaelin, an American actor and radio/television personality who became famous as a witness during the murder case of O.J. Simpson. Their relationship, however, hit the rock sometime in 2016 or early 2017.
Moving on, the beautiful lady got involved with the HealthCare Partners Group Operations director, Denny Hooten and on 5th October 2018, they marked their first anniversary.
Her family life largely revolves around her kids and she is very protective of them. Sometime in February 2020 Leyna Nguyen and her son made news headlines after the latter was teased about coronavirus at school. It is said that his teacher made him go to the school’s nurse’s office after he coughed in class while drinking water. Commenting on the issue, Leyna accused the teacher of intolerance and pointed out that it happened because of the coronavirus concerns and assumption that someone of Asian descent is more likely to have the virus.