ORLANDO, Fla. – It was her very first day as a summer intern at WKMG, and it’s a day Samara Cokinos will never forget.
“There was a tornado warning and Tom was like, ‘Go get Julie [Broughton] for team coverage’ and we were like, ‘OK, uh, how do we get out of the building?’” Samara said.
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The behind-the-scene scramble that ensued, however, did not scare away the eager intern.
Her inspiration to become a meteorologist was sparked early, thanks to a well-known TV figure in Central Florida.
“Danny Treanor came to my school in Pierson, Florida,” Samara said.
She was in third grade at Pierson Elementary School.
“I just thought he was the coolest thing, you know? And everything that he talked about was just so interesting to me,” Samara said.
Little did she know she would eventually work alongside the meteorologist who made the one-hour drive to her elementary school.
Treanor wrapped up his career at News 6 in 2019 after bringing the weather to people in the greater Orlando area for 40 years.
Before finding her way to Orlando, Samara did what most broadcasters do and landed a job in a smaller TV news market.
“I actually ended up in deep south Texas, you know, ‘Stars at night are big and bright,’” Samara said.
For more than four years in at KRGV-TV Brownsville, Texas, she worked with respected long-time Chief Meteorologist Tim Smith.
Samara points to her internship at News 6 for helping her land her first professional position.
“That’s what internships do for you. They teach you things like how to be yourself on air,” Samara said.
When a position opened up at News 6, Samara had just signed another contract in Brownsville but she knew she had to add her name to the list of candidates.
“If I could get Samara, that’s who I want,” Tom recalled about seeing Samara on the list.
Thankfully, her news director gave her the green light to come back to Florida and work in her home market.
Six years later, Samara works weekend evenings on News 6 and also hosts a popular music podcast called Riff On This.
Watch her full interview in the player above or download the News 6+ app for your smart TV to watch on the big screen.
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