Meisha Johnson Might Already Be Philly’s Favorite TV Personality

She's conquered Twitter. Can she conquer the Philly TV audience, too?

Meisha Johnson made an appearance Wednesday on the Phillies pregame show on SportsRadio 94WIP with Michael Barkann and Ray Didinger. Photo, courtesy of CBS3.

Meisha Johnson made an appearance Wednesday on the Phillies pregame show on SportsRadio 94WIP with Michael Barkann and Ray Didinger. Photo, courtesy of CBS3.

Even before she started her job this week as CBS3’s morning traffic reporter, Meisha Johnson was a hit in Philadelphia — at least judging by the some of the delirious Twitter reaction after the station announced her hiring. And then there was the delirious Twitter reaction to her debut. (A savvy social media user, Johnson cultivated her fandom by tweeting at and retweeting seemingly everybody who mentions her on the social media platform — all the Tweets in this post come from her feed.) That reaction has only gained momentum: Her morning appearances this week set off spikes in Philadelphia Google traffic for her name. It’s the reaction CBS3 execs must’ve hoped for when they hired her amidst a big shakeup that followed low ratings at the station.

The Minnesota native brings a trace of her accent to the job, as well as an intriguing history: Her dad was a boxer, her mother a ballerina, and Johnson herself was named after famed ballet dancer Mikhail “Misha” Baryshnikov.

Philly Mag talked with Johnson this week about her welcome to Philly, the differences between her new and old hometowns, and her favorite sports.

Welcome to Philadelphia. How’re you liking it so far?

This city is so beautiful. I’m sure when you live here you get used to it. Coming from Minneapolis, we have some historical architecture, but it’s nothing like this. The people have been really, really wonderful to me, especially the ones I’ve met in person. It’s been great so far.

We tend to treat our TV anchors and weather people like celebrities here.

Gosh. I haven’t really felt like that. I just think they’ve been so welcoming to the city that they’re so proud of. Everyone seems so welcoming to get me integrated as quickly as possible. It’s good to feel that from strangers.

That’s not necessarily the typical reaction Philly has to newcomers and strangers.

(Laughs.) In that case, I’m flattered.

In fact, judging from your Twitter account — and the number of Google searches we at have gotten for your name — you have quite the fan base in this city already.

Aw, you’re cute. To me, the first thing I think about that is the city is so welcoming — they’re so happy and cute. I’m super grateful that anyone would care about a new traffic reporter coming from the Midwest. I’m just really grateful.

What’s the difference between Minneapolis traffic and Philly traffic?

The difference here is you’re connected with a lot of different states, and lots of people going lots of different directions — that’s a lot different from Minnesota, because you have the Twin Cities, and everybody’s going one direction. Here it could be going any way. We don’t have big bridges like you do here. So it’s a lot of vernacular, trying to learn my way around. You have a very big city.

OK, now for some Philly questions. Have you had a cheesesteak yet?

I have not. That’s the main thing, they all want to tell me the best place to get one. I’ve got a list of 30 restaurants I’m supposed to try. I had a chicken steak, but I’m told it’s not the same thing, and that I need to go out and have the real deal.

And you have a background in sports. Have you adopted one here yet?

No, because to be fair, I haven’t seen all of them. I will say, yesterday I went to my first Phillies game. I know everybody says they’re not playing the best, but I’m smitten with them. They’re sweet. I’m excited to see an Eagles game, because I’ve heard about the fans.

What’ve you heard?

I’ve heard the fans are incredibly passionate to the point of crazy. I’ve heard they throw snowballs at Santa Claus …