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|Alma mater||Florida State University|
News anchor |
Gayle Sierens (born 1954) is a former broadcast journalist and television news anchor on WFLA-TV. She joined the Tampa NBC affiliate in 1977 as a weekend sports anchor and reporter after working with WFSU in Tallahassee while she was attending Florida State University. She became the first female sportscaster in the Bay Area and quickly made a reputation for herself as someone who always got the big story and interviewed the top professional sports players despite being a woman. In 1981, she was recognized by Tampa Bay Metro Magazine as the Bay Area's best sports reporter.
In an effort to curb declining ratings, WFLA promoted Sierens to coanchor of the 6 & 11 p.m. newscasts with Bob Hite in October 1985, a move that was criticized at first. The move later paid off as Sierens was regarded as being likeable and just as intuitive doing news as doing sports.
In 1987, through a short stint with NBC Sports, she became the first woman to do play-by-play for an NFL regular season football game when she called the December 27 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs. She was originally to be a regular play-by-play announcer for the season, but a contract dispute with WFLA prevented her from continuing in that role beyond her lone game.
In 1984, she was honored with a Florida Emmy Award for sports reporting and in 1991, Sierens won her second Emmy for news reporting.
January 10, 2007 was designated as "Gayle Sierens Day" by Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio to commemorate Sierens' 30th year with the station, a rarity in television news.
Currently, she is on the board of directors for Village Partners International, an advisory board for the Boy's and Girl's Clubs of Greater Tampa, serves as chairperson for the Big Brother's/Big Sister's annual "Bowl for Kids' Sake" fundraiser, and is a member of the board of directors of the Judeo-Christian Health Clinic.
Gayle retired from WFLA-TV NewsChannel 8 in May, 2015, after 38 years in the broadcast journalism industry.
- Information at WFLA's site
- NY Times article, Gayle Sierens, the first woman to call an NFL game, and the last
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