Andrea Isom on Life in Hollywood

"You know me," Andrea Isom reminds us. “I’ve got a big voice, a big personality, and I want to always be doing big things with them! And things that matter.” Detroit does know Andrea Isom. Or at least we can pick her out of a TV lineup.

After a dozen years as the most recognizable female street reporter on WJBK’s nighttime newscast On the Edge, Isom rocked the local media landscape in January 2015 when she abruptly resigned. “It is time for me to tackle whatever lies ahead,” the Cleveland native wrote on her Facebook page. “I know I can face anything with the spirit of Detroit in my blood!”

Which didn’t explain why she suddenly left her adopted home behind. “Andrea is everything I would want a daughter of mine to be,” praises Huel Perkins, WJBK’s anchor icon. “Brilliant, beautiful, courageous, kind and caring. I did my best to keep her in Detroit, but the lure of Hollywood was too great.”

So it seemed. Eight months later, Isom resurfaced on nationally syndicated Crime Watch Daily, seen here at 4 p.m. Monday-Friday on TV20 (WMYD).

Billed as the only first-run crime-and-punishment show airing in daytime, the top-rated new series seems like a natural career upgrade. But Isom swears it wasn’t planned that way.

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“I left, then the show came. We all have these big plans. I decided to take a leap of faith and go see what else was out there.”

Isom wasn’t certain she even wanted to remain in TV. “I’ve always thought about writing,” she says. “But when the call came from the executive producers here, it was exactly what I wanted: telling longer stories, and telling them the way I want to.” Watchful producers felt she was a natural fit for the new show’s style – “which is very edgy, smart and quick,” Isom says.

Crime Watch Daily carries a team of correspondents with Isom most visible, introducing “Crime Tube” and “Bad Seed of the Day” segments and crisscrossing the country to flesh out sensational headlines. Affiliate news stations assist with archive footage and background info.

“Now I can spend several days working on one story,” Isom says. “I can go into people’s homes, get to know them, hold their hands. And the people I’ve met on this journey-so many incredible people, strong people, courageous people. This is more than just reporting. It’s personal.”

In her personal life, Isom, her husband Joe Harris, a former photographer and editor at WJBK who’s now editing for Crime Watch Daily, and their dog, Dexter, are slowly acclimating to the Left Coast lifestyle-when they can.

“People think, ‘Ooh, Hollywood; there’s all this glamour,’” Isom says. “I’m doing all this on lack of sleep, spending time away from home, racking up frequent-flier miles. It’s been a sacrifice, but it’s worth it.”

She’s already has appeared as a guest contributor on Nancy Grace. But knowing she’s still on air here, albeit on a new station, helps ease homesickness. “Detroit is my second home,” she says. “So the fact people say ‘We miss you on The Edge but we love seeing you on Crime Watch’-it’s the best of both worlds.”

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