Station to Station

WFLA's Sierens Made NFL History

1/29/2009 05:07:48 PM

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I don’t get to read the Sports page on work time all that often, but I did get to enjoy the NY Times piece on WFLA Tampa sports anchor Gayle Sierens calling an NFL game in 1987.

Why is Sierens calling a Seahawks Chiefs game 22 years ago noteworthy? Because no woman has called an NFL game since.

“Froggy” Sierens was asked to call several more games for NBC, but never ended up doing so. She says WFLA was lukewarm on the idea.

She said the management at her local NBC station did not want her to call more games the next season. They made it clear that she had a choice: work for NBC, essentially part time, or continue as a full-time news anchor. Her boss did not even want her one N.F.L. game for NBC to be shown in Tampa. “Had the offer to call more games come two years before, it would have been different,” she said. But the opportunity did not arrive until after she was married, pregnant and happy about having made the move into news. “They weren’t trying to keep me from my dreams,” she said.

Sierens will of course be doing the sports reports before and after the big game, which is in Tampa, this Sunday for WFLA.

[photo: NY Times]

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