Tammy Souza to leave chief meteorologist job at WTSP-Ch. 10 two years after arrival
Tammie Souza has confirmed she will soon leave her job as chief meteorologist at area CBS affiliate WTSP-Ch. 10 just two years after she arrived, negotiating a return to Chicago in order to reunite her family.
Souza will likely return to the station she left for WTSP, Chicago-area Fox affiliate WFLD-TV. She said the move was prompted by the difficulty her husband, Greg Hendricks, has had in finding a position in Florida comparable to his job teaching industrial arts in the Chicago area.
Hendricks never moved to Florida, prompting Souza to commute between the two cities -- even after the pair adopted a baby boy, Caleb, now 22 months old.
"My decision to leave is totally family-0based and completely mine," said Souza, who agonized over how best to reunite her family. "I love 10 News and the people I work with -- you don't leave chief meteorologist jobs unless it's over something very big. My bosses gave me time to think about it all and left the decision up to me."
When Souza came to WTSP-Ch. 10 in October 2008, she became the first female chief meteorologist in Tampa Bay TV history. She also succeeded one of the area's longest-tenured forecasters, 28-year veteran Dick Fletcher, who passed away in February 2008 after a stroke.
The Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday that Souza was talking with WFLD, where she worked for two years before coming to St. Petersburg. All told, she spent eight years in the Windy City, working weekends at NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV before moving to WFLD.
WTSP general manager Ken Tonning said her last day could come as soon as the end of December, through Souza expects to stay until the end of January. The station plans a typical nationwide search for her replacement.
"I've been separated from family for work, and it's difficult," said Tonning, who joined WTSP about a month after Souza in 2008. "We tried to do what was best for everyone."