TAMPA - Sarina Fazan is a three-time Emmy-award-winning journalist who anchors the 6 & 11 weekend newscasts.
Sitting in the anchor chair at ABC Action News is the culmination of a lifelong dream. Sarina was born in India and moved to Seattle when she was two. English is Sarina's 4th language and she learned how to speak English by watching her idols Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters. But, like Walters, she struggled for years to overcome a speech impediment. It did not keep her from pursuing her dreams.
Sarina is very passionate about her work. She has earned a reputation in the Tampa Bay area for landing interviews with some of the area's biggest and most controversial newsmakers. She has also received numerous awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, and other media organizations for many of her exclusive stories. In addition to her three Emmys, Sarina has been nominated for four additional awards.
Among some of her biggest stories, she led the coverage of the notorious Debra Lafave teacher sex scandal. She was the first reporter invited to the Aisenberg's home in Baltimore after the couple moved from the bay area because of the intense scrutiny surrounding the disappearance of their daughter Sabrina.
The mother of the infamous DC Madam sat down only with Sarina after her daughter's suicide. The only known correspondence from the infamous child killer John Couey was to Sarina.
Sarina was also the first reporter given exclusive home video of Hostage Keith Stansell being reunited with his family after five years of captivity in Columbia. She was also the only reporter in the country invited to view the wedding video of Terry Schiavo, the woman who was at the center of a decade-long right to life case in Florida.
Sarina feels two stories in particular have helped make a huge impact on the community, and she continues to be passionate about both.
She took action for a high school senior who was brutally beaten and raped. The attack caused lifelong injuries and insurance denied to extend her care. Sarina involved lawmakers from as high as the Governor of the State of Florida to get the victim's healthcare extended. Sarina also did a series of reports that got the community involved. Because of the media coverage, tens of thousands of dollars was raised for this young victim. Fundraisers on the young woman's behalf continue to this day.
In 2011, Sarina interviewed the wife of slain St. Petersburg Police officer Jeff Yaslowitz, Lorraine. Sarina worked with Lorraine to establish a run walk in her husband's honor as well as two other officers killed in the line of duty. ABC ACTION NEWS is a proud sponsor of the race held by Lorraine's "Partners for Life" Foundation. It attracts well over a thousand people and continues to grow.
These stories, her community involvement with many youth groups, and her participation in the station's commitment to The Spring of Tampa Bay have been very fulfilling.
If you ask Sarina, she will say her greatest accomplishment in life is being a mother. Sarina, her husband Dave, and their daughter Samantha are happy to call Tampa home.