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WFLA anchor Gayle Sierens said a tearful goodbye after 38 years at the Tampa NBC affiliate.
During her last newscast, Sierens told 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.”
The station made a goodbye video looking back on her life and career.
“I am the luckiest woman in the world, [said Sierens] How many people get to grow up in this town, work all their life in their hometown, start a family, raise their children and stay in the place they grew up for this long? I am blessed.”
WFLA anchor Gayle Guyardo remembered the first day she met Gayle Sierens at WFLA-TV. She said she got to shadow Sierens while in college. “I got to shadow Gayle and I got to sit next to her on the anchor desk when she took me to the studio,” Guyardo said. “It was so amazing and I was so impressed with what a true genuine professional she was. I looked up to her.”
WFLA anchor Stacie Schaible said, “I learned that as an anchor you need to be yourself. Gayle was so genuine. She was the same person on and off the air.”
Former WFLA co-anchor Bob Hite was also in the newsroom Wednesday to co-anchor a special segment in on News Channel 8 at 5 p.m. Hite admitted, “I’m a little nervous. I haven’t anchored in 8 years. Where are my scripts?”
According to WFLA, “There wasn’t a dry eye in the studio Wednesday night as Sierens signed off the air.”