"Daytime," WFLA's midday syndicated talk show, will bid farewell to co-host Lindsay Macdonald today and will welcome "Extra's" Jerry Penacoli on Monday.
Macdonald, who has been with the show since 2003, is leaving to join the family's construction business in Colorado. But she and her husband, Steve, will keep their home here.
"Tampa is home," says Macdonald, 36, who has a son, Steven, 2. "I plan to spend my time commuting."
Macdonald got her start in television on MTV's "The Real World – Seattle." She also worked as a reporter at CNN and the entertainment program "The Spot" before coming to "Daytime."
She calls her time on the show "a real adventure."
"I got to hear so many stories and experience parts of life I never thought I'd experience before," she says. "So many emotional moments and wonderful stories I will never forget."
On Monday, Penacoli slides into the co-hosts chair alongside Cyndi Edwards in the Tampa studio.
Penacoli handled exotic animals, cracked jokes and got shout-outs from comedian Wanda Sykes and the Columbia restaurant on Thursday, his first day on set.
The Emmy Award winner, who twice guest hosted "Daytime," says he wanted to move to the Tampa area to be closer to his family. His mother lives in Valrico.
"When I lost my brother in 2011, I realized I needed to be closer to my family," says Penacoli, who has a home in St. Petersburg. "This is a nice combination for me to keep doing what I love, talk TV, and be closer to my family, geographically. I never wanted to regret not spending time with my family."
Penacoli began his career at WJKS in Jacksonville as a general assignment reporter and news anchor. He moved to Los Angeles in 1992 to pursue an acting career and appeared on several prime-time shows and daytime dramas, including "One Life To Live." Before that that, he was a prime-time news anchor for KYW-TV in Philadelphia and host and producer of "PM Magazine" at WTVJ in Miami.
The Pennsylvania native, who has worked 13 years as an entertainment reporter on "Extra," will remain a correspondent for the show on a part-time basis, he added.
Edwards, who has been with "Daytime" six years, said she's excited about the new partnership.
"We didn't know each other before," she said. "But right away there was chemistry. I already feel like I've known him my whole life. It's going to be a great partnership."
"Daytime" airs at 11 a.m. on Channel 8.