Linda Hurtado to depart WFTS…

Florida News Center has learned that WFTS anchor Linda Hurtado is leaving the Tampa station, and television all together. In a press release, the station announced that she is leaving to spend more time with her family. Her last day will be May 29th.

Hurtado posted on Facebook: I want to thank you for inviting me into your home for the past 20 years, trusting me to get the story right and welcoming me when you met me out in the community. I have loved my time working for the E. W. Scripps Company and ABC Action News, working with great friends and accomplished journalists, bringing you stories I hope were relevant and helpful to your lives. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have your support all these years – allowing me to experience some life changing stories that have affected my own life as well as yours.

Right after my diagnosis of breast cancer in 2011, I realized I’ve been running hard for many years both personally and professionally – and that, when the right time came, I wanted to take a break and slow down. That time is now. For many reasons.

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05 2015

Gayle Sierens signs off after 38 years at WFLA…

Veteran WFLA anchor/reporter Gayle Sierens signed off Wednesday night, after 38 years at the Tampa station.

Joining her to sign off were her current co-workers, as well as veteran WFLA anchor Bob Hite, who retired from the station in 2007.

On Wednesday night, the station aired a 30 minute special, detailing her history in the Tampa area and featuring local area celebrities and figures of power.

In a tearful goodbye (video below) Sierens said about her family, co-workers and viewers:  “The greatest gift is the love of my husband and children and all of you. I will always consider you my family and will never forget any of you.”
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20

05 2015

Former JAX anchor wins Council seat…

(edited from Jacksonville.com) – Democrat Joyce Morgan, a former WJXT-TV news anchor, won a close race for the Jacksonville City Council District 1 seat against Republican Mike Anania.

Morgan carried 52.24 percent of the 14,124 votes cast with 14 of 14 precincts reporting just after 8 p.m. Read the rest of this entry →

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05 2015

The retiring Gayle Sierens is profiled…

(from TampaTribune.com) – Counting down the days until she leaves, WFLA-TV news anchor Gayle Sierens says she is trying not to have a plan for retirement.

“Isn’t that what retirement is all about — not having a plan every day?” says Sierens, who exits the News Channel 8 anchor desk on Wednesday after 38 years and five months at the NBC affiliate.

After nearly four decades of living by deadlines, she’ll be off the clock.

She says that for the next year she may come back on air at WFLA for some special reports. “The details haven’t been worked out, and I don’t know what my title would be or how it will work, but for at least a year I will be available,” she says.

“I’ve been lucky to be along for a great ride, and I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have had this kind of career, all in the same place,” says Sierens, who was 22 when she joined WFLA in 1977 fresh out of Florida State University.

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05 2015

WFLA anchor meets relatives from his Cuban past…

WFLA morning anchor Gene (Eugene) Ramirez had a chance to meet up with relatives that remain in Cuba, during the station’s May sweeps piece entitled Cuba: Behind The Curtain.

More than 50 years ago, Ramirez’s family fled to South Florida before the Castro regime took control of the island nation. However, not all of his family were able to leave the island. On the trip, Ramirez was able to meet up with with several of his cousins, who still live in the home that his mother was once played in as a child. Read the rest of this entry →

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05 2015