"They don't call this place the Magic City for nothing," Louis Aguirre says with a chuckle. "Coming back to Miami is my full-circle moment."
You know Aguirre. He spent years on local TV before heading to the West Coast to become cohost of CBS's Entertainment Tonight spinoff, The Insider. But that show was canceled this past August, sparking the 51-year-old's recent return to Miami as a news anchor for WPLG, a station he credits with kick-starting his career.
"I've always been interested with what's happening in Miami," he says. "Even when I was gone, I never really let go. My people are here, and there's nothing like doing television in your hometown."
Aguirre, who graduated from the University of Miami, began his career in 1989 as a Spanish-language reporter at a Telemundo affiliate. A year later, he switched to English-language news and became a reporter at the local ABC station, WPLG.
Within his first few years as a broadcast journalist, Aguirre reported on the AIDS epidemic, which earned him an Emmy nomination, and scored a sit-down interview with Fidel Castro during the 30th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In 1994, Aguirre left for Hollywood to launch Extra! That gig was followed by a role on Fox's morning news show, Fox and Friends. He also played small parts on popular TV shows such as Sex and the City, Burn Notice, Days of Our Lives, and All My Children.
In 2003, he returned to Miami as an entertainment reporter and anchor for WSVN's Deco Drive, where he earned his first Emmy. In 2014, his career propelled him back to Los Angeles to cohost the The Insider.
Aguirre never envisioned becoming an anchor at WPLG, but he says it feels right. "I've always been Miami's cheerleader," he says. "The fact that I can do that now in the place where I started my career is amazing."
With the move comes a new chapter in his TV career.
"My focus is on what is happening in our world besides the glitz and glamour of celebrities," he says. "There are so many important stories that need to be told, and being able to do news again is in line with where my head is at."
As Aguirre transitions out of national, tabloid-style entertainment gossip, he says he wants to dive into environmental, conservation, and climate-change reporting.
"There's no bigger canvas for that than Miami," he says. "We're already seeing the beginning effects of what people have been talking about for years. I want to go into places like Biscayne Bay and the Everglades and talk about what's really happening."
Beyond the serious subjects, Aguirre says, he hopes to inspire the community through stories that show Miami's excitement and constant evolution.
"You know," he adds, "I hate to close the door of another opportunity, but, hell, Dorothy was right. There's no place like home."