Jamie Seh is the new sports director at Channel 6 following WKMG’s decision to not renew the contract of longtime sports anchor David Pingalore. In the process of elevating Seh from weekend sports anchor to sports director, Channel 6 is making a bit of history.
By my unofficial count, Seh becomes only the second woman sports director of an English-language Orlando TV station, following in the footsteps of Denise Cullen at News 13.
(The Spanish-language stations in town have been more progressive with women sports leaders, including Adriana Monsalve and Ana Jurka at Telemundo’s WTMO and Paola Varela Rossi at Univision’s WVEN.)
Still, among Orlando’s big four network stations, Seh and WESH’s Courtney Jasmin are the only women sports reporters. Looking around the state, that seems to be about the norm, unfortunately. It appears there are only two women sports reporters from the ABC. CBS, Fox and NBC stations in Tampa, just one in West Palm Beach and none in Miami or Jacksonville. (Cable’s Spectrum Sports Network has four women among the nine sports reporters who cover the Orlando and Tampa Bay markets, however.)
The lack of women sports anchors in the area and the state is somewhat perplexing. Florida has been home to some ground-breaking female TV sports reporters, including Gayle Sierens at Tampa’s WFLA-NBC 8 and Jane Chastain at Miami’s WTVJ-CBS 4, who in 1967 became the first woman TV sports reporter in the nation.
There are several reasons that explain why there’s aren’t more women on local TV sports. First, it is a male-dominated profession, and second, TV stations keep cutting local sports — so there are fewer opportunities for both women and men.
I searched but was unable to find any current data on how many women sports directors there are in the nation. But regardless of how much company she has, the sports director role isn’t new for Seh. Prior to joining WKMG in 2010, she was the sports director at WTEN-ABC 10 in her hometown of Albany, N.Y.