(Tampa Bay, FL) In the wake of three other retirement announcements of longtime Tampa Bay news anchors, Gayle Sierens said she would be leaving WFLA-TV/NewsChannel 8 in May 2015 after a 38-year stint at the station. She will anchor the 11 p.m. newscast through the end of 2014 and continue anchoring the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts until May 20, 2015, her last scheduled day at WFLA-TV.
Sierens joins John Wilson and Anne Dwyer (WTVT-TV) and Yolanda Fernandez (WFLA-TV) in announcing their departures from Tampa Bay television after long stints with their respective stations.
“I am so grateful to live out my career in the town where I grew up. Who gets to do that?” Sierens said. “I am truly excited for this next phase of my life. I have worked the night shift for more than three decades. I’m eager to go to bed at a normal time, and have time to travel with my husband and children. I’m even hoping to improve on my golf game, and looking forward to more time to volunteer in our community.”
When she joined WFLA-TV/News Channel 8 in 1977, Sierens was a weekend sports anchor/reporter and became the 11 p.m. weekday sports anchor in 1983. In October of 1985, Sierens made the transition from sportscaster to news anchor. On Dec. 27, 1987, she called the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Seattle Seahawks NFL game on NBC becoming the first woman to do play-by-play for a National Football League game. Marty Glickman, who is credited with being a pioneer in radio and later TV play-by-play, was assigned to coach Gayle Sierens for that assignment.
Sierens began her career at WFSU-TV in Tallahassee, Fla. She received a B.S. degree in mass communications from Florida State University. She was the winner of the Florida Holocaust Museum’s “Loebenberg Humanitarian Award.” She was also named Humanitarian of the Year by the Judeo Christian Health Clinic. The Association of Fundraising Professionals created the “Gayle Sierens Volunteer of the Year” award in her honor. She was named a “Woman of Distinction” by Girl Scouts of America, Suncoast chapter.
Gayle Sierens and her husband, Mike, have been married for 26 years and have two sons, Cam and Luke, and a daughter, Maddie.
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