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 that scrambled the presidential election, working as a reporter crafting news stories both for the TV station and corporate sibling, the Tampa Tribune.
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, it's been an honor to work here. But I'm really excited for the next chapter, too."