Signing Off in Tampa

Longtime WFLA Anchor Gayle Sierens is signing off on the last day of the May book (coincidence?) and the station has been milking her long goodbye to try and grab ratings. 

Sierens has been at the station 38 years and has not ruled out coming back to the station.

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.

Under a contract negotiated two years ago, Sierens left the 11 p.m. newscast at the end of 2014. Her last day on the 5 and 6 p.m. slots is Wednesday. There will be a salute to her long career at 6 and a half-hour special, “Gayle Sierens: Always on Your Side,” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Anchor Jen Leigh, who replaced Sierens on the 11 p.m. newscast, will replace Sierens on the 5 and 5:30 newscasts. Anchor Stacie Schaible, who has been with WFLA since 2000, will co-anchor the 4 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

As for retirement? Sierens has no plans. “Isn’t that what retirement is all about — not having a plan every day?” she says.

WFLA Vice President of News Bill Berra says Sierens leaves behind big shoes to fill. “Working with Gayle has been an honor and a privilege, and I only wish I could have worked with her longer,” says Berra who joined WFLA last year. “She is one of the most dedicated people I have ever worked with.”

H/T Tampa Tribune