Scores of viewers came to WSB-TV's midtown studios for a chance to meet one of local television's most beloved personalities, Monica Pearson.
The historic station event celebrated Monica's commitment to the Atlanta community,
which she has served from the Channel 2 Action News anchor desk for 37 years.
"It's nice to meet in person the people who watch us daily and to be able to say 'thank you' one-on-one," she said.
The viewers had to register for the visit, which included a tour of the newsroom and studios, a chance meet Channel 2 anchors, reporters and other WSB-TV personalities, and, at the end, the opportunity to chat and take photos with Pearson. Her husband, John Pearson, also attended the event.
One viewer, Nick Brown, of Dallas, Ga., told WSBTV.com he was enjoying the experience. When asked what he's looking forward to most, Brown quipped, "Monica!"
Conyers resident Kim Nolan echoed his sentiments about the tour, adding that "everything has been nice."
Monica's last day behind the anchor desk will be Wednesday, July 25, 2012.
She assures her loyal viewers that she'll still be a part of the news team in body and in spirit.
"Thirty-seven years is a long time to have gone by so quickly. I am thankful for this job every day and for the supreme good fortune to have been allowed to pursue my life's calling in such an honorable place as Channel 2. It's my home away from home and this team of journalists is my family. Believe me when I say, I'm deeply honored to have served the viewers and this community, in which we all make our home."
In 1975, Pearson became the first black and first woman to anchor a 6 p.m. newscast in Atlanta. At the time, she was known as Monica Kaufman.
Now Pearson is the longest-running anchor in the Atlanta market, working through seven presidencies, six Georgia governors and a near doubling a population growth in the state. She’s won 29 Emmy awards along the way.
Pearson has been accepted into the University of Georgia’s graduate telecommunications program and will become a student in the fall.
Channel 2's 5 p.m. duo, Justin Farmer and Jovita Moore, also took part in the day's event to connect with viewers.
"We're honored that our viewers would spend a Saturday to how we do our jobs," Farmer said.
"It's amazing to see all these people turn out," added Moore.