CLEVELAND — Lydia Esparra returned to the Channel 3 News team on Aug. 31, 2021, where she previously worked as the Weekend News Anchor and General Assignments Reporter from 2000 to 2008. In 2004, Lydia was inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame (Akron, Ohio) and in 2007, she won an Emmy for Outstanding Weekend Newscast.
Lydia was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, and earned a BA Degree in Telecommunications from The Ohio State University. In 1997, she became the first Latina news reporter at a Cleveland television station. In 2012, Lydia received the Robert G. McGruder Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award from Kent State University. In 2014, she was named the “Ohio Television News Anchor of the Year” by the La Voz Media Alliance and received the Coretta Scott King Award from the NAACP 34-AB.
In May 2013, Lydia received worldwide exposure and an Emmy nomination for local and national television coverage of the abduction and escape of Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight. Lydia first covered the story for WKYC in 2004 when Gina failed to return home from school, and kept artifacts on her desk over the years to never forget. She was the first news reporter to be granted an interview with Gina at her home, and has been interviewed for multiple documentaries for her work on the story.
Prior to returning to Ohio in 1997, Lydia was the Community Affairs Manager at WCIX-TV in Miami, Florida. She relocated to Georgia working at WFXL-TV in Albany as a Reporter/Anchor before becoming the Bureau Chief at WTVM-TV in Columbus, Georgia. She conducted several interviews with former President Jimmy Carter and shook hands with Palestinian National Authority President Yasser Arafat before a meeting with Carter at his Plains, Georgia, residence. Lydia received the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Media Award for her coverage of Georgia State Prison reforms.
In addition to President Carter, Lydia has interviewed President George W. Bush and met with President Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Vice President Dan Quayle.