From intern to weather forecaster: News 6 meteorologist Samara Cokinos talks about path to Orlando

Samara Cokinos left southern Texas to work with News 6 Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells in 2017

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.

News 6 Meteorologist Samara Cokinos when she was an intern at WKMG in 2012. (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

In a chat with Tom Sorrells on Talk To Tom, Samara said the experience prepared her for an exciting career in TV news.

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.

News 6 Meteorologist Samara Cokinos as an elementary schooler. (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

“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.

You can watch Treanor’s recent interview on Talk To Tom here.

News 6 Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells with now-retired meteorologist Danny Treanor. (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

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.

News 6 Meteorologist Samara Cokinos when she worked at at KRGV-TV Brownsville, Texas. (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

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.

Learn more about how she used her connections in Central Florida’s music scene to land guests such as hip-hop duo Smilez and Southstar and Mark Dawson of The Grass Roots.

Watch her full interview in the player above or download the News 6+ app for your smart TV to watch on the big screen.

Check out every episode of Riff On This in the media player below:

About the Authors:

Katrina Scales is a producer for the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m. She also writes and voices the podcast Your Florida Daily. Katrina was born and raised in Brevard County and started her journalism career in radio before joining News 6 in June 2021.

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.