NewsChannel 3 Anchor/Reporter
Paula Lopez co-anchors Channel 3's NewsChannel 3 at 11pm. Paula began her television career in 1985 as an intern in Channel 3's News Department, and went on to anchor NewsChannel 3 before heading to KCAL Channel 9 in Los Angeles in 1990. During her six years in the nation's second largest television market, Paula anchored 9 News at Noon, which went from an obscure half-hour independent newscast to the number one-rated daytime newscast in Los Angeles.
In 1993 9 News at Noon, anchored by Paula, was awarded the prestigious Los Angeles Area Emmy Award. In addition to her regular duties, Paula anchored live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the O. J. Simpson murder trial, and award winning live continuous coverage of the Southland Floods and the Firestorms of 1993. One of her most challenging duties was anchoring live continuous coverage of the devastating Los Angeles riots. In 1994, Paula was honored, along with ABC Network News Correspondent Carol Simpson, by the Minorities in Broadcasting Training Program with its "Striving For Excellence" Award.
In 1996, following six years of commuting daily from her home in Santa Barbara to Hollywood, Paula decided to return home permanently to spend more time with her young son. She now co-anchors NewsChannel 3 at 11. Paula is able to get out from behind the news anchor desk to report as well. She recently earned a Golden Mike Award for Best News Reporting from the Radio & TV News Association of Southern California, as well as a Best News Reporting Award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Northern California.
Paula serves on the Board of Directors for Aids Housing of Santa Barbara, as well as on the Board for the American Lung Association of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. She recently completed a two year term on the Santa Barbara chapter of the American Heart Association Board of Directors.
Paula attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, and was graduated with a BA in History of Public Policy, with a minor in Political Science. She is a ninth generation Santa Barbaran, and a direct descendant of Lt. Pablo Cota, one of the founding officers of the Royal Presidio in Santa Barbara. She is married to Presiding Judge of Santa Barbara Superior Court, Frank Ochoa. They have a son, Diego, and twin daughters, Alana and Olivia.