C.J.: Love blossoms under the KSTP-TV lights

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 14, 2012 - 7:44 AM
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Anchored. Will it last? Joy Lim Nakrin is betting it does. “I’m going to plan that it lasts.”

On this Valentine's Day, Amelia and Frank must make room for Joy and Jonathan at the anchor desk of love.

Twin Cities TV news viewers who enjoy watching married WCCO-TV anchors Amelia Santaniello and Frank Vascellaro grapple with relationship stories during the week now can get a weekend fix over on KSTP-TV, where anchor Joy Lim Nakrin and meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas are on a cloud about their new romance.

Neither Nakrin nor Yuhas said We're in love, but they consider each other their "best friend." They also have met the other's family, and she admitted that they've talked about being engaged. Sounds to me like they're in love.

There has been a certain lightness to Yuhas on-air lately, but I've never heard him quite as bubbly as when responding to my question about his most romantic date with Nakrin: "They're all romantic."

Go on, Mr. Yumance.

"I don't know if I'm allowed" to disclose his most romantic gesture, said Nakrin, who then said:

"All we like to do is sit at home and cook and watch movies. The most romantic thing? I have a collection of about two dozen notes that he writes to me. I'll wake up and just have this little card with horses drawn on it [and some words]. He leaves little notes around and he cleans my apartment and unloads the dishwasher."

Enjoy. That won't last.

Said Yuhas: "Seriously, we're like best friends. The thing that's so crazy is that we come from completely different backgrounds."

Nakrin said she never set out "to be with a guy who is 12 years older than me, divorced and has two kids. I don't think typical 31-year-old women say this is what I am looking for." But, she said, "We had a real connection."

One of those connections was an adoration for dogs.

Yuhas said Nakrin was extraordinarily kind when his Australian cattle dog mix, Foster, "got really, really sick one night. Joy took care of him for me. This may sound ridiculous, but I don't think there is any woman in the world who would have done as much as she did for him that night. She took so much care of him and didn't get mad at me, just told me she was concerned about him."

Nakrin interjected: "What he's talking about is me cleaning up five piles of dog vomit and diarrhea."

There's just no appetizing transition from that to the work lunches over which love blossomed. They work crazy long weekend hours where she does the morning and the evening news shows that require lots of planning and producing discussions.

"October is when it turned romantic. Jonathan [formerly of KARE11] started, I believe, in August. From the get-go, I wanted to develop a business relationship with him because I knew we were going to have to work closely together and work a lot together," she said. "Because of the way the shows are set up, it's not, 'Oh he's just a meteorologist.' He does a lot of the interviews and plays more of a co-host role," she said. "So I thought, 'This man is going to help me with this show, so I better get to know him.' We went to lunches together a lot thinking it was just going to be work, and ended up talking about a lot of other things, as you know."

Nakrin said viewers have noted their chemistry with e-mails commenting on how well she and Yuhas work together. The lovebirds did notice my blind item about them that I wrote after hearing that they were beaming and holdings hands at the Hubbard Broadcasting holiday party.

"Before we were open about our relationship, Lindsay [Radford, the news director] sent us an e-mail that said Good show, you guys have great chemistry so it's fun to watch. We read that and were just kind of chuckling to each other. We knew the secret that nobody else knew at that time," she said.

"First we tried not to get involved. Be professional. That didn't work. Once it became romantic, we tried to keep it a secret, and then we realized we don't want to hide it anymore."

With a law degree from Duke -- she passed the bar in Massachusetts -- and a stint with ESPN Asia, Nakrin's resume screams Woman with a plan!

So what's the contingency plan if this workplace romance doesn't go the distance?

"I think it will last," she said. "I'm going to plan that it lasts."

As Kris Humphries now knows, there's no need to rush the engagement, and most definitely the marriage. So I suggested to Yuhas that a February 2013 sweeps on-air proposal would be plenty soon enough.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen Thursday mornings on FOX 9's "Buzz."

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