You may recognize the handsome 39-year-old Trey Serna from his time in Houston on CW39’s evening newscast. He came here from his home in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in 2010, starting out as a producer and part of the team that created NewsFix Houston, the city’s first-ever anchorless newscast. He worked his way up the ranks to senior and supervising producer before making the jump in front of the camera as a reporter and co-anchor of a three-hour morning show. Apparently he’s a true morning person, as he is now back in the Valley as the anchor for KRGV’s Channel 5 News This Morning program.
“I really enjoy morning news,” Serna says. “I don’t mind anchoring other newscasts, but I sincerely thrive in the mornings. I try to not be that annoying, energetic guy in the morning to my co-workers because I know not everyone is a morning person. But I can’t help but be that guy sometimes. It’s also really fun for me to help viewers start their day. I know we have to report bad news sometimes, but it’s not all bad. And if I can give them a little something positive before they start their day, and help them start off on the right foot, then I’ve succeeded.”
Serna grew up in Harlingen, where he attended Harlingen High School and then UT’s Rio Grande Valley campus in Edinburg. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in communications and journalism, and began his TV sojourn in 2008 as a producer for Channel 5.
“I always knew I enjoyed writing and telling stories, especially on video,” he says. “It wasn’t until I was in college that I decided to major in journalism. Initially, I wanted to be a newspaper reporter. I took an internship at a website company as a copywriter during my last semester of college. It turned into my first full-time job after graduation. But 2008 came around, and I was laid off. I knew a reporter from the local TV station in my hometown who encouraged me to apply for a producer position at the station he worked at. That’s how I got into TV news. I’ve done other media and public-relations types of work, but I’ve always ended up back in TV news. It’s where I feel the most comfortable. I love what I do.”
Serna is more than happy to be back in the Rio Grande Valley, but he does miss Houston.
“I do miss being in Houston on a regular basis,” he admits. “But it was the height of the pandemic, I hadn’t seen my family in more than a year, and I saw an opportunity open up to anchor in my hometown where I grew up. One thing led to another, and I ended up landing the job. It’s been absolutely incredible, and I’m so thankful I was able to do this. While it’s nice being back where I grew up, my home and my husband are still in Houston. This is just one chapter in our story. I’ll be back soon.”
Serna and his husband, Johnny, have two fur babies, Cooper and Charlie, and they all enjoy spending time together while watching TV.
As he reflects on his broadcasting career, Serna admits he’s been lucky in not having to face any real discrimination for being gay. “I’ve never dealt with a major discrimination issue—at least nothing glaringly obvious,” he says. “I’ve had viewers say things, especially on social media, that are rather ignorant or hateful. But those sorts of comments, unfortunately, come with the business sometimes. I’ve never been an ‘I’m here, I’m queer, and you have to accept me’ kind of guy. I’ve also never been ‘the gay anchor’ that points out that I’m gay every time I’m on TV. My advocacy is through representation. I discuss my life as anyone else would. I talk about my husband, my dogs, my likes and dislikes, and everything about my life because I have a seat at the table. It’s that simple to me. And the more we normalize these sorts of conversations—without having to point out the ‘difference,’ based on my sexual orientation—the more change I feel we make.
“I also want to serve as a positive influence to any queer kid who may be watching and may feel like they don’t have a place. I didn’t grow up with many positive gay figures on TV, especially on local news. So, to me, it’s very important,” he adds.
Last year, Serna and his husband had a fun time at Houston’s Pride celebration. The June Pride observances are very important to Serna in ways that go beyond just having a good time.
“Pride means so much to me,” he says. “But ultimately, I think it boils down to being proud of yourself, embracing everything you are, and spreading that positivity to others.”
Keep up with Trey Serna on Instagram @trey.serna.