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by jon warech | June 27, 2014 | People
CBS4’s newest face, Irika Sargent, plans to hang tight in her new city.
Irika Sargent on Ocean Drive.
Over the past 10 years, CBS4 weekday evening coanchor Irika Sargent had traveled to Miami probably half a dozen times. She, like most people, ran to the beach, hit the hot spot restaurants, and enjoyed the kinds of entertainment that tourists from all over the world come to South Florida to savor. But over that time, Sargent witnessed an evolution in this city—growth that ultimately turned this vacation town into a place to settle down. That led her to try it out for herself.
“In this business, as you’re working your way up, there’s a lot of moving around, but I was looking for a place where I might be able to spend more time and really put down roots,” Sargent says. “Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have thought that this was the place where people move to—maybe you retire or vacation here—but I think that has evolved.”
Like the city, Sargent did some growing to get here. She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, earned a law degree from Cornell Law School, and practiced law in New York City before returning to journalism—a career that took her everywhere from Mobile, Alabama, to Houston, Texas. “It was always my plan to practice law for several years and then go back to journalism,” says Sargent, who won an Emmy in Houston before moving to CBS4, where she now anchors the evening and late newscasts, at 5 and 11 pm.
Since she arrived, Sargent, 33, has been working to achieve personal success that extends beyond the newsroom. “It is a tough business sometimes,” she says. “When I moved to Houston, I was very much focused on the work. I didn’t want to have any regrets, so I made sure I gave it my all, and in some ways the social life did suffer. One of the big commitments I have given myself [in Miami] is finding that work-life balance and making that a priority.”
Sargent’s first step toward cultivating that equilibrium was to find a place to live. She immediately fell in love with Brickell for its fast-paced urban lifestyle and amazing sights. “Seeing that view of Biscayne Bay for the first time captured me,” she says. “I like that mix of the serene views of the bay and the energy when you turn inward.”
After having seen much of the country and interacting with its diverse populations, Sargent is set on learning more about what makes Miami’s people tick as she adapts to her new hometown. “It’s a great news town, so being able to share stories and work with the team here was an opportunity I couldn’t resist,” she says. “My hope is that I can experience the diversity of the city but also know that we share the common thread of being all South Floridians together. I want to be a part of this city and get to know viewers in the same way I hope they get to know me.”
photography by nick garcia