WFLA-Ch. 8 reporter Samara Sodos to leave in September for Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
She's been chasing news stories at Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA-Ch. 8 for a dozen years, covering everything from executions to speeches by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
But in a few months, reporter Samara Sodos will find herself on the other side of the journalism process, leaving WFLA Sept. 7 for a job as a public information officer with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
"I was looking for a career that felt a little more stable," said Sodos, who acknowledged her impending departure from journalism was sparked both by a desire for a new career challenge and concern about downsizing in local media. "I feel like all the skills I learned in this job will help me there."
Sodos, 40, came to WFLA in 2000 just before the voting problems which scrambled the presidential election, working as a reporter crafting news stories both for the TV station and corporate sibling, The Tampa Tribune.
She began considering jobs outside journalism months ago, but was still surprised when Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee asked if she might be interested in working for him a couple of months ago.
Sodos plans to stay long enough to help WFLA cover the Republican National Convention -- while avoiding reporting any stories about the Sheriff's Office, of course.
"I've wanted to be a reporter my entire life -- since 6th grade," she said. "Honestly, its been an honor to work here. but I'm really excited for the next chapter, too."