Tonight is a big night, as we are introduced to a new face and a new trusted friend for our news.  Her name is Karen Fuller, as she'll begin sharing the news desk with Scott Sanborn tonight on CBS 2 and Fox 28.  We were fortunate enough to meet her this morning and get to know her a bit better.

Karen comes to Cedar Rapids by way of Kansas City, where she was on-air for 11 years.  Before that, she was down in Little Rock, Arkansas for 10 years, and got her start in Mason City, after graduating from Drake.  So not only is she a seasoned veteran in the industry, but her move to Cedar Rapids represents a homecoming of sorts. She's very much a Midwesterner, with that Southern charm, born raised in Arkansas till 6th grade, then moved to the Chicago suburbs from 6th grade on.  While she's mostly eliminated the accent, if you listen really closely, you can still hear it come through very slightly, although it could have just been my imagination. And believe it or not, in just the couple weeks she's been in town getting acclimated to her new surroundings, she's all unpacked, with "not a box left", and has already sampled some of the fun, including the Downtown Farmer's Market After Dark, which she loved and hopes becomes an Annual event.

As for her family, she has 2 teenagers; a boy and girl at 13 and 15.  No doubt, this is a tough time for them, but they "love Cedar Rapids, love it." She's also got a brother who's a band teacher in Arkansas and an avid fisherman and catfish guide. Her parents live in North Arkansas.

Other than news, what are her outside interests? She's a big yoga fan, and has already been checking out local yoga studios.  She enjoys lake fishing, like bass, catfish, crappie fishing.  She also loves to travel and has been all over Europe, Africa, and Cuba too, with her favorite spot being Paris, where she lived for a "wonderful, crazy" year during college. She hasn't been to Asia yet though. She's also admittedly a big shopper.

She admits the biggest thought running though her mind the whole time was that 'this guy knew the codes to the nuclear warpower in Russia.'

I asked her the biggest news story she's been privileged to cover, and it was a story about rice imports from Arkansas to Cuba after Hurricane Michelle in 2001, where she came very close to interviewing Fidel Castro. They were told, "if it happened, it would happen around 3AM, and for us to go bed with our clothes on, be ready, a knock would come at the door, and we would be taken to the palace. The knock didn't come.  We got the Secretary of Agriculture instead."  She also got to interview Mikhail Gorbachev, who "looked her straight in the eye the whole time, while speaking thorough a translator" seated next to him. She admits the biggest thought running though her mind the whole time was that "this guy knew the codes to the nuclear warpower in Russia." She found him to be very charismatic, and was taken aback later in the day as he had remembered her name, even though the interview was a quick minute or 2.  In that way, she says he was a lot like Bill Clinton, who is also very charismatic and good at names.  She's met and interviewed him, Hillary, and Chelsea. She's also already met and interviewed Coach Ferentz and his wife Mary.

And finally, there's a school of though is that you can really learn a lot from a person by their favorite color, which from Karen is, "Hot pink normally, but sometimes a pale pink.  Pretty much any pink is good as long as it has pigment." So there you go.

Awesome guys. Amazing guys.  I think they're going to be my 2 favorite anchors of all my career.

Catch Karen tonight running solo on the 5pm news on CBS2, and then with Scott Sanborn at 6pm and 10p, and also with Scott from 9p-10p on Fox 28's News at Nine. In parting, I had to ask her thoughts on Scott and Terry Swails, and she gushed with excitement. "Awesome guys. Amazing guys.  I think they're going to be my 2 favorite anchors of all my career." We'll look forward to this new chemistry starting tonight.