Ray Collins is the Co-Anchor of "Good Morning Suncoast" and is an award-winning reporter.
Ray won the Florida Associated Press award for "Best General Assignment Story" after his investigation into a Sarasota City Commissioner. He previously won the Florida AP award, "Individual Achievement for Overall Excellence."
Ray reported live from Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. He also accompanied local veterans on the "Honor Flight" to Washington, DC, for an emotional visit to the National World War II Memorial.
*Prior to joining ABC 7 in 2013, Ray was Co-Anchor of "Good Day Tampa Bay Weekends" on Fox 13 News in Tampa. He was also the Sarasota/Bradenton Bureau Chief, covering a 5-county region south of the Sunshine Skyway.
*Ray anchored the 5, 6 & 11pm news on WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia. He covered a Presidential Debate in North Carolina and the subsequent Inauguration on Capitol Hill. On 9/11, Ray was on-the-air 15 hours, later doing a series of reports from Ground Zero and hosting an award-winning anniversary special. He also covered a Richmond-based case in the U.S. Supreme Court.
During this time, Ray also reported live from the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans... was a panelist in two political debates that aired nationwide on C*SPAN... and was a frequent guest radio talk-show host, both on WRVA-AM in Richmond, and WMAL-AM in Washington, DC.
*Prior to Virginia, Ray anchored the Emmy-nominated "Wake Up!" show and #1 Noon newscast at WIVB-TV in his hometown of Buffalo--the same station where he had interned as a teenager. Ray flew with the Niagara Falls military reserves to Honduras to deliver relief supplies to victims of Hurricane Mitch... he went behind the scenes of a movie production in Toronto...and produced a popular weekly feature called "Rays of Hope" honoring unsung heroes in the community.
*Ray began his TV career in Southwest Florida, first as Morning Anchor on WBBH-TV in Ft. Myers and later as the News Director & Main Anchor on WNPL-TV in Naples.
*Ray started in radio, first as a DJ, newscaster and talk-show host at WRNJ in New Jersey and later at Newsradio 970 WFLA in Tampa. He covered the Buccaneers home games, filled-in as airborne traffic reporter, and covered Hurricane Hugo in Charleston, SC.
Ray graduated from St. Bonaventure University in upstate New York where he was later inducted into the campus radio station's "Hall of Fame."
Ray's high school in Buffalo, St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, inducted Ray into its Liberal Arts "Wall of Honor."
Over the years, Ray was the Florida correspondent on a national tennis show, co-authored a book on media skills, and was published over 100 times in several regional and national magazines as a travel writer.
Ray is very active in the Suncoast community, serving as an emcee for a variety of nonprofit events and galas around the area. He has been on a number of nonprofit boards--and was a two-time President of the Broadcasters Club of Florida. Play Sarasota Magazine listed Ray among the "Most Influential People in Sarasota area Tennis."
For the past 34 years, Scott has been behind the anchor desk at ABC 7, covering the stories and events that have shaped our community.
He's been with ABC 7 since 1985, and anchors ABC 7 News at Noon and co-anchors ABC 7 News at 5 and 6.
Scott came to ABC 7 as a weekend sports anchor from WUFT-TV in Gainesville, FL. In 1989, he was promoted to Sports Director, and then moved into the news anchor seat in the fall of 1995 as co-anchor of First News at 5. In January of 1999 Scott became co-anchor of ABC 7 News at 6 and ABC 7 News at 11. In 2010, Scott became co-anchor of ABC 7 News at 5 and 6.
Scott has lived in Sarasota most of his life, moving here from Batavia, NY when he was 12 years old. He graduated from Riverview High School and from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. "Journalism is about trust, and you have to earn that trust from viewers every day," says Scott. "I've lived here most of my life, so this is home to me. I've got a vested interest in this community. As a journalist I hope I can bring that perspective to the stories we cover." Because Scott gained so much from growing up on the Suncoast, community involvement is a way for him to give back. Over the years, Scott has served as a Big Brother, as a mentor at his alma mater, Riverview High, and offers his time to events benefiting the American Heart Association, Sarasota County Schools, Easter Seals of SW Florida and the Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse.
In 2013, Scott was inducted into the Riverview H.S. Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2017, into Riverview's Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.
The Florida Associated Press honored Scott in 2001 for his in-depth reporting on the political and social issues facing Cuba. He's also been voted Best Local News Anchor by the readers of the Bradenton Herald and Favorite TV Personality by the readers of Sarasota Magazine.
During his time at ABC 7, Scott's had the opportunity to do some amazing things. He's flown with the Blue Angels in an F-18. He's traveled to Cuba to do a series of reports from the island nation and he also learned how to race cars at the historic race track in Sebring.
Scott lives in Sarasota with his wife and daughter and spends his time away from work enjoying all the Suncoast has to offer.
Renée Gilmore’s career intersects her personal dedication to improving the economic well-being of historically marginalized communities. After graduating from Florida A&M University early and with honors, Gilmore began her career as a reporter at ABC7 in 1979. Proving an exceptional propensity to communicate complex government, business and public affairs issues across a spectrum of audiences, she quickly ascended to night news director.
Gilmore left the Sunshine State for a short time to earn an MBA degree and hone marketing skills while working on brand campaigns at J. Walter Thompson New York, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies. A fourth generation Floridian with deep roots in Sarasota, Gilmore says she felt blessed when lured back to this region by Verizon Communications (formerly GTE Florida). There, she performed marketing, consumer research and business planning that launched emerging technologies.
She went on to spearhead a transformation initiative for Florida’s public workforce system. She received White House recognition for designing customer-responsive service models that set new standards and improving systemic operating efficiencies. “It was some of my most challenging and rewarding work,” says Gilmore. “Change is hard on entrenched systems, but I am heartened by the widespread workforce and economic development results we achieved through countless collaborations over the course of 25 years.”
She encourages young adults and residents living in economically depressed neighborhoods to get civically active. Gilmore believes having one’s voice heard can impact the trajectory of the future and is especially important for marginalized people. She has seen the combination of awareness and action make a difference. “I saw that powerful mix inspire progress in private industry and the public sector,” Gilmore says. “That’s why I am excited to again be at ABC7 as the station expands its platform for amplifying community signals that, otherwise, might go unnoticed until something tragic occurs.”
Gilmore’s father, Dr. Ed James, II, produced and hosted Black Almanac on ABC7 for 46 years until his death in 2018. Dr. James is credited with a lifetime of achievements that improved life in Florida for all people. His community affairs show was the source for much of Sarasota and Manatee counties’ discourse on politics, civil rights and race relations.
Gilmore holds a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Florida A&M University. She earned a M.B.A at Clark Atlanta University. She is the chairperson of Sarasota National Cemetery Advisory Committee, Inc. She is a member of the board of directors at Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. She is an active member of Sarasota County Veterans Commission. Renée and her husband, Richard Gilmore, have a nine-year-old brown and tan hound. They are convinced that, paws down, Riley is the smartest canine ever.
Emily Kinzer joined ABC7 in May 2019 and co-anchors the Good Morning Suncoast newscasts.
Before joining ABC7, Emily worked as a morning show Multimedia Journalist/fill-in Anchor in Indianapolis, Indiana for WISH-TV's six-hour morning show. Emily is Emmy-nominated for her work there as a Video Journalist. While in Indianapolis she was a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana and considers it one of the most rewarding experiences.
Prior to her time in Indianapolis, Emily spent two years at ABC57 in South Bend where she covered everything from blizzards to historic flooding and stories at Notre Dame.
A Southern girl at heart, Emily was born and raised in Middle Tennessee. She graduated with honors from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Multimedia Journalism and a minor in Political Science. Emily got her start in radio while in college. She worked as a reporter/studio producer at WGNS News Radio in Murfreesboro, Tennessee during her last semester of college.
Growing up, Emily's favorite vacation was summer beach trips with her family so she's thrilled to be living and working in the Suncoast, not to mention year round warm weather!
Outside of the newscasts, Emily enjoys exploring outdoors, upcycling furniture, and trying new dog-friendly restaurants with her dog Dixie.
Feel free to reach out to Emily on her Facebook page and let her know your favorite places to visit!
Bill Logan is the anchor of the 4pm newscast and ABC7 at 7PM.
After working in radio in the early 80s in my hometown of Baltimore, he started his TV career in Harrisonburg, VA. Following that, he moved to Lynchburg, VA and Greensboro, NC before making the “first” move to Tampa in 1987.
After spending most of the past 30 years in local TV, Bill took a Communications Manager position with St. Petersburg Public Works. While working in St. Pete, he moved to Parrish to be closer to his kids (and grandkids) who still live in the Brandon area.
Bill loves all things sports, and as a long-term resident of Tampa Bay, he's a homer for the Rays, Bucs, and Bolts …but he can still get behind the Orioles (especially during Spring Training)!
As a pet-parent to his rescue dog, Jackson, there’s special place in Bill's heart for the efforts of our local animal rescue organizations. He's also worked to assist the region’s homeless and economically disadvantaged through various boards and volunteer organizations.
Bill will dive into issues on the 4pm and 7pm newscasts and will craft a program that helps sum up the day for busy folks who need a little information and time to digest it.
Let him know if you have any stories or issues you’d like him to look into!
Jacqueline Matter is the anchor of ABC7 News at 11, and the co-anchor of ABC7 News at 4, 5 and 6. Jacqueline joined the ABC7 News team in December of 2016 as co-anchor on Good Morning Suncoast.
Prior to joining the ABC7, Jacqueline was the anchor of "WNCT 9 On Your Side Morning Edition" in eastern North Carolina. Prior to that assignment, she was the bureau reporter for WNCT in Jacksonville, NC.
Jacqueline graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Go Heels! You can bet that if Carolina is playing in any sport, she will be watching! Jacqueline also was a member of UNC's All-Girl Cheerleading Squad and the Gamma Lambda chapter of Phi Mu. While in school, Jacqueline interned at all four news stations in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Jacqueline was Miss North Carolina International 2016, where she actively advocated for PTSD awareness on behalf of active duty military, veterans and their families. She placed in the Top Ten at Miss International in July of 2016 and continues to support victims and their families suffering from PTSD. She comes from five generations of military men and her father is currently serving in the Army. She says while the term "Army Brat" can sometimes have a negative connotation, she is thankful for her experience as the daughter of a service member, which has given her many opportunities in life such as living in new places around the world.
While on the Suncoast, Jacqueline has partnered with numerous non-profit organizations including the Animal Rescue Coalition, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation - Tampa Bay Chapter, The Humane Society of Sarasota County, the Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County, The Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center and Vets2Success.
When not at work you might find her volunteering, shopping, dining at local restaurants, hanging out on the beach, at the gym working out or spending time with her rescued terrier mix, Marleigh.
Jacqueline can often be found at community events around the Suncoast and says if you see her out and about don't be shy, she loves meeting new people!
Rick Adams joined the ABC 7 news team as a reporter in November 2015. He is a New Jersey native who is happy to leave the cold winters behind and now call Florida home.
Before coming to ABC 7, Rick worked as a reporter for WTOL, the award-winning CBS-affiliated station in Toledo, Ohio. While in Toledo, one of the many big stories he covered was the Lake Erie toxic algae crisis, which forced hundreds of thousands of people to go without drinking water for several days.
Previously, Rick worked as a reporter, anchor, talk show host and producer at television stations in Louisiana, Colorado, Wyoming and New Jersey.
Rick is excited to be in Sarasota as part of the ABC 7 news team. Outside of work, Rick enjoys the beach, snorkeling, running (he has completed 25 marathons) and spending quality time with his wife, Julia and the pride and joy of his life, his daughter Schuyler.
Francesca was born in Lima, Peru and lived in Miami most of her life. She graduated from Florida International University with a B.A. and an M.A.
Francesca returns to the Sunshine State after working as Multimedia Journalist at WDTV in Bridgeport, West Virginia. Prior to that, Francesca was a News Writer at the Fox affiliate in Miami, WSVN for more than a year.
In her spare time, Francesca enjoys performing as a flautist, and also attend concerts. She also loves going to art galleries, and try new restaurants.
Rebecca joined the ABC7 News Team in July 2018, and is our Venice Newsroom Reporter. She covers everything happening in South County including Venice, North Port, and Port Charlotte.
Originally from Miami, she came back to sunny Florida after reporting for FiOS1 News on Long Island, New York. There she covered an array of stories from the brutal murders by the MS-13 gang to record-breaking blizzards to the massive lockdown at the JFK airport.
She began her on-air career as an MMJ and Weekend Anchor for the ABC affiliate, WOAY-TV, in Southern West Virginia where she covered President Donald Trump's visit to the state. Before becoming a reporter, Rebecca was an Associate Producer at Univision Network News in Miami and produced the nightly newscast "Edicion Nocturna". She worked on all kinds of national stories including the Orlando Nightclub mass shooting and Pope Francis's visit to Cuba and the United States.
Rebecca is a 2016 graduate from the University of Miami where she earned a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a B.S. in Public Relations.
Growing up in the fun and sun capital of the country, she has always been drawn to not only share happy stories that bring communities together, but to also tell stories that matter to those who live there. She promises to be the voice and face for all of our South County viewers, so if you have any story ideas, please email them her way! She’s also bilingual, so you can write in Spanish if you’d like.
Kaylee Greene is the Traffic Reporter on Good Morning Suncoast. She joined ABC7 in March of 2018 as a producer for Suncoast View.
A Ft. Lauderdale native, Kaylee is glad to have the opportunity to stay in warm, sunny Florida where she can be close to family.
Kaylee graduated from Southeastern University in December 2017 with her B.S. in Broadcasting. While in her undergrad, Kaylee hosted her school's morning radio show, and was the entertainment reporter and anchor for her school's newscast. She also interned at Bay News 9 in St. Petersburg.
As an intern at Bay News 9, Kaylee worked very closely with their traffic reporter to learn the most effective ways to share with viewers what to watch out for on the roads. She is excited to be able to implement the tools she learned as an intern in her traffic reports here at ABC7.
In her freetime, you can find Kaylee at a local coffee shop or browsing the farmers market downtown
Jackie Kelly joined ABC7 in June of 2018 as a Multimedia Journalist.
She is happy to have traded in her snow boots for flip flops since she most recently worked as a reporter at KVRR Local News in the cold city of Fargo, North Dakota.
Jackie enjoys bringing "feel good" stories to the community. Some memorable interviews she conducted in Fargo were with Chad Coleman from The Walking Dead, NHL Stanley Cup Champion Matt Cullen, and Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel.
Jackie is originally from Doylestown, Pa.
She is a 2016 graduate from Rutgers University where she received a B.A. in Journalism and Media Studies along with a minor in Digital Communication, Information, and Media.
While in school, she interned at CNN/HLN in New York City and News 12 New Jersey in Edison, New Jersey. Along with interning, she worked at Rutgers University Television Network where she was the host of the segments "Paint the Town Scarlet" and "What’s On RU-TV".
In her free time, Jackie enjoys cooking, doing yoga and Pilates, and going to the beach.
Duhane Lindo didn't have to travel far to join the WWSB ABC7 News Team. He started as Chief Editor in July of 2001.
He covers a wide range of issues on the Suncoast as a general assignment reporter. On occasion, you can find Duhane hosting or reporting various stories in the community on “Black Almanac”, which airs Sunday morning on ABC 7.
Before coming to ABC7, Duhane spent two years as an editor for WTVT Fox 13 News in Tampa. In addition to being Chief Editor and Reporter, he has taught at Miami-Dade College's School of Entertainment and Design Technology as an adjunct professor.
Duhane was born and raised in New York City and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA (#LionNation). He also received his Master of Arts in Journalism & Media Studies from The University of South Florida-St. Petersburg (#GoBulls).
Outside of work, Duhane usually works out at the gym, plays pick-up baseball, travels, spends time with family and friends as well as keeping up with ALL sports. He mostly follows major league baseball, collegiate football, basketball and baseball.
Marla Spence joined ABC 7 in December 2017 as the morning reporter for Good Morning Suncoast.
Prior to joining the team, she was the morning reporter for WTVM News Leader 9 in Columbus, Georgia. That's where she covered a wide variety of stories from veteran home makeovers to homicides. Marla is originally from Miami.
She attributes her ability to connect with people of all backgrounds and ages due to her diverse upbringing in South Florida. Her passion for broadcasting started at the age of 12, as a Radio Disney Kid-Caster. Out of hundreds of kids and pre-teens, Marla earned the competitive position that gave her the opportunity to cover movie premieres and concerts for the local Radio Disney station.This experienced propelled Marla's interest in broadcasting.
She went on to pursue a degree in broadcast communication at Barry University in Miami Shores, FL.During her time there, she was the university's reporter and community service coordinator. After graduating, Marla was offered a position at her internship with Cox Media Group Miami.
Marla is also a former pageant queen and preliminary titleholder in the Miss USA, and Miss America Organization. She had the privilege to hold the titles of Miss South Florida, Miss Brickell, and Miss Overtown.
Competing helped Marla to pay for portions of her college education through college scholarships. It also helped her become an ambassador for water safety and drowning prevention, a cause she holds close to her heart due to the tragic loss of her sister. Marla and her college sweet heart/husband are happy to call Florida home once again.
A native of Los Angeles, California, Taylor is loving the Suncoast. She majored in broadcast journalism at San Jose State University where she fell in love with being the voice of the people. She got her first taste of television news as an intern in the Investigative Unit for NBC Bay Area, then shifted to covering dayside stories while shadowing reporters.
After college, Taylor moved home and worked as a news assistant and assignment editor at KABC in LA. She started her career as a multimedia journalist in Humboldt County, where a lot of her focus was reporting on the legalization of marijuana.
Soon after, she moved to Chico to be the bureau reporter for the ABC FOX affiliate stationed in Redding. During her time here, she was first on scene before the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people during the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway. She also covered numerous devastating fires, officer involved shootings and the rampage at an elementary school in Rancho Tehama.
Now, she’s ready to tell the stories you care about! She’s new to Florida and a long way from home, so shoot her an email if you’d like to share something you think more people should know about.
ABC 7's Chief Meteorologist Bob Harrigan has been forecasting Suncoast weather for more than 30 years. You can watch Bob's forecasts weekdays at 5 pm, 5:30 pm, 6 pm, 7pm, and 11 pm.
Bob graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Atmospheric science. Before coming to Sarasota in 1985, Bob worked for the National Weather Service as a weather observer, and as an instructor in weather forecasting and micro-computer classes at the University of Kansas.
Bob has a unique perspective on Hurricanes. He was able to experience the power of these storms close up. In 1996 he flew into the eye of a 115 mph hurricane named Bertha aboard the famed Hurricane hunter aircraft. In 2004 he boarded NOAA's hurricane hunter aircraft, the P3 Orion, and flew into an even stronger storm named Ivan. Strong storm systems can pop-up quickly here on the Suncoast, and Bob always makes sure viewers are armed with knowledge to help them get through severe weather when it threatens our area.
Bob has been voted by the Bradenton Herald readers as the "Best Television Meteorologist" in the Tampa bay area over 5 times. He has also been voted the "Best Television Personality" by Sarasota Magazine many times and recently 3 in a row from 2014 through 2017.
Besides weather Bob enjoys playing golf and fishing. In fact you can catch his fishing segment "Fishin' with Bob and Capt. Jonnie" on Thursdays at 11 p.m. and again on Friday's 5:30 newscast.
Bob volunteers his time with countless non-for profit organizations, raising money and awareness for some wonderful causes. He provides valuable hurricane and severe weather seminars each year for Suncoast residents. "The Suncoast is the lightning capitol of North America, and it's essential for survival to know safety tips that can save lives."
Bob has been designated a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society.
Additionally, Bob Harrigan has been recognized by Bradenton-Sarasota's Spark Growth as an area "Thought Leader" and was a featured panelist for their talk about technology, weather, and the future.
Bob resides in Bradenton with his wife Susan and daughter Emma Grace.
Wendy Ross began her television career on October 4, 1976 with ABC 7. She was hired to do the 6 and 11 pm weather broadcasts and to host and produce a public relations program highlighting the concerns and needs of the community. The program was called Panorama and featured guests from the Suncoast community to speak on a variety of topics that impacted the area. Once a month, Ms. Ross also hosted medical viewpoint which was produced by Dr. Robert Windom, a local cardiologist , to address medical issues and highlight new procedures from local medical experts.
In 1979 Wendy was hired by WFLA-TV, channel 8, and moved to Tampa to do the morning and noon weather and to co-anchor the noon show. From there she went on to channel 44 where she did the weather for the 10 pm nightly news and also hosted and produced a public relations program featuring guests from the Tampa Bay community to talk about topics relating to the Tampa Bay region.
Ms. Ross was in the Tampa market for 20 years before returning to ABC 7, where she is now working as the weekend weather person and the fill in weather anchor for the early morning and noon shows and for the evening shows, as needed.
A full time realtor, Wendy is busy showing off the Suncoast ‘s residential community to buyers and helping sellers with their real estate needs.
Married since 1980, Wendy has 2 children. She lives here with her family and her pet Winston, whom she adopted through the Sarasota Humane Society while working on the noon show and meeting Winston and adopting him practically on the spot!
Wendy is enjoying her 37th year in broadcasting the weather!
John Scalzi, an award winning Meteorologist, joined ABC 7 in December of 1995. He currently delivers his Suncoast forecast weekday mornings on ABC 7 Good Morning Suncoast and ABC 7 News at Noon.
A native of Tacoma, Washington, Scalzi spent his formative years in Cleveland and his teens in St. Petersburg, attending Seminole High School. Following graduation, Scalzi pursued his two biggest passions: Meteorology and Theater. His early theatrical studies took place in the United States at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and then abroad at Mountainview School of Theater in London.
Following a variety of theater and television work, including the role of magician in Captain Kangaroo, Scalzi's career took its meteorological turn. He received his undergraduate degree in Meteorology at the City University of New York, and immediately began working as a Meteorological Coordinator for WNYW's Good Day New York. Later, Scalzi became the Public Affairs Liaison for the National Weather Service in New York, while simultaneously teaching weather classes at the City College of New York. Scalzi went on to pursue his graduate degree in Meteorology from Florida State University, where he joined Tallahassee's WTXL-TV as the Weekend Meteorologist. At FSU John also taught Meteorology courses and conducted extensive research on Doppler Radar.
Scalzi was delighted to have the opportunity to return home to Florida's west coast and to share his unique talent for reporting the weather while educating viewers at the same time. Says Scalzi, "I not only want to give viewers the information they need, I also want to share my passion for science with young viewers." Scalzi currently resides in Sarasota with his wife Linda. He enjoys gourmet cooking, woodworking, "surfing" the internet, and performing magic.
ABC 7 Meteorologist John Scalzi has been designated a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society.
You can watch John Scalzi weekdays on Good Morning Suncoast and ABC 7 News at Noon.
Kamara Daughtry joined ABC7 in November 2018 as a Digital Producer-Reporter.
An Atlanta native, Kamara is excited to embark on her new journey on the Suncoast. Kamara is a proud alumnus of Miles College, in Birmingham, Alabama. She was also a collegiate volleyball athlete under the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for four years. She majored in communications and held numerous leadership positions in college.
While in undergrad, Kamara was accepted into the Emma Bowen Foundation, a diversity inclusion program that enabled her to intern at a local CBS affiliate for three years. She started working in the Marketing Department and quickly moved to digital media. There she fell in love with the powerful impact social media can have on people's lives.
During her internship, Kamara worked in the digital department for two years as a Digital Producer and developed knowledge on digital analytics, engagement and growth for the station. Kamara is excited to implement the tools as an intern and use it for social media and website growth at ABC7.
She also interned for an online radio show, where she began digitally reporting on community issues, events, and traveled to historical events like the 50th Jubilee March in Selma, Alabama in 2017. While in the EBF program, she was afforded the opportunity each summer to visit New York City for professional development.
What does Kamara like to do, when she's not going Facebook live? You can find her on the sand volleyball court at the local beach or trying to make a viral video.
Xavier McKnight joined ABC7 in February 2019 as a Digital Producer-Reporter
Xavier is a native of Covington, GA and is thrilled to be embarking on his new journey on the Suncoast. Xavier is a proud alumnus of Savannah State University, in Savannah GA (#GoOrangeGo Blue).
He majored in mass communications, minored in history, and held various leadership positions in college which serving two years as Editor-in-Chief of the university's student publication, The Tiger's Roar Newspaper.
While in undergrad, Xavier was selected as a Spotify Opening Act Participant for the 2017 conference and as a 2018 HBCU Fellowship recipient for the ONA Student Newsroom and Innovation Conference.
Xavier received his first internship as a high school junior in 2013 with the Covington News, in Covington, Ga and it was here where he discovered that journalism was the path for him. He also interned for ESPN Coastal GA, WSAV News 3 for the 2017 High School Football season, and the Savannah State Media Relations Department of Athletics while at Savannah State.
In his spare time, Xavier likes to go bowling, cook, exercise, ride rollercoasters, watch sports, create short films and skits, and continually improve at his craft.
Linda Carson joined ABC 7 in 1995, and is currently Co-Host of a daily talk show, "Suncoast View".
She also does a nightly upbeat good news segment on ABC 's 6 pm News including, "Amazing Suncoast Woman", "A Place we call Home", and she covers local entertainment news on "Suncoast Scene" and "In The Spotlight".
Linda started her TV career in 1964 as a "TV Weather Girl" at Channel 11 in Atlanta. She was told it would be a short career because a woman wouldn't be accepted on television after she was 30. Linda went on to become one of the first female TV reporters and one of the first prime time female anchors in the country and is still reporting the news in her 70's here at ABC 7 in Sarasota.
While covering the Suncoast, Linda's job has put her at the forefront of news. She was in the elementary classroom at Emma E. Booker Elementary School on Sept. 11th when the terrorist attacks occurred, and walked with President George Bush to the media center at the school where he addressed the Nation and discussed the attack. She continued to follow the story when the next day when the world discovered the terrorists had actually taken their flying lessons in our area.
Linda received the Associated Press Award for her death row interview of Serial Killer Danny Rolling. Linda also witnessed Rolling's execution and reported live from Starke prison when he was put to death for the murders. As a reporter in Atlanta in the 60s, Linda was assigned to cover the Civil Rights Movement, focusing on Coretta Scott King, and spent much time with the couple before Dr. King's death, and with Mrs. King afterwards.
She married Bud Carson, who was the Head Coach at Georgia Tech at the time. When Bud went to the Steelers as Defensive Coordinator, Linda became Assistant Sports Director at KDKA-TV. When he joined the L.A. Rams, Linda went to work at KTTV as nightly Weathercaster and Reporter. From there, she worked at WMAR-TV in Baltimore as Weathercaster and Reporter, at WDAF-TV in Kansas City as Anchor and Consumer Reporter, at WFSB-TV in Hartford, CT as a Consumer Reporter, and at WKYC-TV in Cleveland as Medical and Consumer Reporter. In Philadelphia she worked at Fox 29 as Weathercaster and Co-Anchor of "Eagles Game Day Live" a Pre- Game show for the Eagles.
Linda serves on the Board of Directors of The Circus Arts Conservatory and was formerly on the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society.
Joey Panek joined ABC7 in 2013 as the Social Contributor, reporting on the Suncoast social scene. His focus later turned to tech and webtrends as he originated the role of Social Trends Correspondent. He was part of the original team of ABC7's daytime talk show, Suncoast View with his weekly What's Up, Joey? segment. He became a recurring guest host before taking over as Senior Producer in 2015.
Originally from Syracuse, NY, Joey's focus has always been on arts and entertainment. He moved to Manhattan and enjoyed a 14-year professional stage career, performing around the country in national tours and regional theaters as part of Actors Equity Association.
Joey made Sarasota his home and started a digital video production company. He launched award-winning campaigns for area foundations and national brands. He produced and starred in original webseries that garnered national recognition and landed him featured articles in Fast Company, front page of Yahoo, and YouTube milestones.
Active in the community, Joey earns the hashtag #ManAboutTown as he teaches group fitness at the Sarasota YMCA, performs in Florida Studio Theatre's improv troupe, and volunteers for countless area organizations as a singer and emcee.
Despite his attempts at greatness, it is his long-haired chihuahua Lulu who has stolen the spotlight after she was highlighted on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Stephanie Roberts has never had a lack of energy or quick, witty things to say. So co-hosting and producing Suncoast View on ABC7 is a perfect fit! "I spent 15 years in morning news, and I really like the conversational style of daytime television. I love sharing with our viewers everyday all of the amazing things and events that are unique to us here on the Suncoast. And I don't have to get up at 2:30am anymore to do it!"
Stephanie has worked in the major markets of Tampa and Cleveland as both a news anchor and a meteorologist. Born and raised in Chicago, Stephanie has a journalism degree from Penn State and a meteorology certification from Mississippi State University. She also holds seals from both the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society. Additionally, she has made numerous appearances on Good Morning America as their guest weather anchor. She also works as a guest host on HSN (Home Shopping Network) as part of their culinary team.
Achieving the right balance between work and family life is what Stephanie ultimately strives for - and with ABC7 she has found it. Off set, Stephanie spends her time on baseball and football fields with her five children, ages 10-17, and her husband, Coach Mike. She is also a dog lover. Stephanie and her family, along with sponsor ABC7, are raising a black Lab puppy, Wrigley, for Southeastern Guide Dogs, based in Palmetto. They are very proud to be a part of training a dog that will make a huge difference in someone's life.
Sarasota resident, Marsha Panuce, a noted philanthropist, is the Founder and Executive Director of Donte's Den.
A 'Windy City" native, trained in the arts, Marsha began a formidable career as a concert pianist. She enjoyed a very favorable reputation among noted orchestra conductors around the globe and has performed in the most popular concert halls. In between concerts and orchestra assemblies, Marsha started a high fashion business that reached the likes of media and entertainment celebrities in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Her move into media reporting was a natural and covered events from the red carpet at the Oscars in Los Angeles, to the red carpet at the Sarasota Film Festivals. Marsha Panuce's television credits include major network broadcast stations in several markets as well as cable channels.
Marsha Panuce is the Chariman of the Sarasota Orchestra, President of Advance Controls, Inc., a Bradenton electrical engineering controls company, and among other interests supports the Sarasota Humane Society, Sarasota Memorial Hospital and other organizations.
Marsha is the host of "Animal Outtakes", which airs Saturday mornings at 6:30am on ABC 7.
Jeff started his career at Robinson Humphrey in Atlanta in 1999. He then went on to work at Smith Barney. Throughout his experience he has gathered valuable tools to help him create an individualized client focused process. He uses a detailed process to gather information about clients to fully suit their needs. Jeff’s areas of expertise include estate planning, investment consulting, and retirement planning.
Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science in Management in Finance from the A.B. School of Business at Tulane University.
Jeff is actively involved in his community. He is a board member of multiple organizations including the Manasota Track Club and Keep Sarasota Beautiful. Jeff also dedicates much of his time to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast as a board member and mentor. In his leisure time, he enjoys running, tennis, golf and yoga. He has also completed the Ironman triathlon two times.
"My first day on ABC7 was October 19, 1987. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 500 points that day. I knew immediately there was only one way to go . . . up!" Indeed, Richard's first day as the station's business commentator was a memorable affair. Since then, he has delivered ABC7 viewers a perspective on the day's money matters, good or bad, offering insightful analysis and an intelligent perspective of the world of finance.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Richard earned his B.A. Degree at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. His professional career includes working at Blunt Ellis & Loewi, Kidder Peabody and Citi Smith Barney. In addition to serving as ABC7's Business Commentator, Richard is currently a Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor at Robert W. Baird & Co's Sarasota office. Richard Stern has been a Financial Consultant since 1976.
For many years, Richard has committed much of his time to civic activities. In the past he has served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Sarasota County, the Volunteer Center of Sarasota County, the Wellness Community of Southwest Florida, the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Federation, the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Foundation and the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Family and Children's Service.
Richard lives in Sarasota with his wife Kathy. The couple has two children, Jeff and Jessica. Jeff is a graduate of Tulane University with a degree in Finance. Jessica is a graduate of The College of Charleston with a degree in sociology. She later earned a Master's Degree in Psychology. Richard's wife Kathy is a very active volunteer in many areas of the community.
Richard also keeps very busy as a featured speaker at many civic and fraternal meetings.