Rocklege High, FSU Grad Sam Martello Lands Job as Multimedia Journalist and Reporter at WJHG-TV
By Steve Wilson // February 6, 2021
got her on-camera start interning for the Friday Night Locker Room on Space Coast Daily TV
WATCH: Rockledge High School graduate Sam Martello talks with the Friday Night Locker Room’s Orville Susong about her new job at WJHG-TV in Panama City Beach, Florida, and much more in this exclusive interview.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Former Friday Night Locker Room–Space Coast Daily reporter Sam Martello has landed a job as a multimedia journalist and reporter at WJHG-TV Channel 7, a dual NBC/CW+-affiliated television station in Panama City.
Growing up in a family full of athletes, Martello has had a passion for sports her entire life. This passion for sports grew into a dream of one day wanting to become a broadcaster.
A Rockledge High School and Florida State University graduate, Martello attended her first two years of college at Eastern Florida State College, and also got her on-camera start interning for the Friday Night Locker Room on Space Coast Daily TV.
“Starting at the age of 4, I was a competitive cheerleader and continued in the sport for 12 years,” said Martello.
She graduated from Rockledge High School in 2016, where she was a varsity cheerleader all four years, and captain her senior year, and then earned her A.A. degree from Eastern Florida State College in 2018.
“During my time at EFSC, I was able to work alongside Steve Wilson and Orville Susong with the Friday Night Locker Room,” said Martello.
“FNLR gave me the opportunities to get my first experiences in front of a camera during the high school football season.”
This included pre-game interviews, post-game interviews and mid-quarter updates called “Sam’s Segment.”
After graduation from Eastern Florida State College, Martello chose Florida State University where she majored in Communications/Digital Media Studies.
While in Tallahassee, she also continued her position as a Friday Night Locker Room–Space Coast Daily intern, posting weekly video reports on Seminoles football.
“During the summer between my junior and senior years, I scored an internship with AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh covering the Pittsburgh Pirates,” said Martello.
“This internship allowed me to work closely with the Pirates field reporter, the production crew, and the players themselves.”
Her time up north gave her a real-life look at all the hard work and dedication it takes to be a sports reporter.
Returning to FSU for her senior year, Martello hosted “Nole Talk” for Space Coast Daily TV and the Friday Night Locker Room that highlighted the upcoming game the Seminole football team would be playing each week.
These video broadcasts allowed her to research the FSU football, basketball and baseball teams and their opponent, and also allowed her to write her own reports.
Also, during her fall semester, Martello was selected to be the sports anchor for her class production of “Seminole Showcase,” which was a 30-minute newscast that featureed all the stories her classmates put together throughout the semester.
Being chosen as an anchor gave Martello an idea of what it would be like to work for a news station and the differences between working in a newsroom and live reporting.
After Martello graduated from Florida State University in 2020 she didn’t let the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic slow down her quest to land a job in her chosen profession.
Once again, due to her talent and perseverance, she acquired multiple offers and after careful consideration, and a number of conversations with her mom and dad Bobbi and Dino Martello, and her twin brother Brady, she chose to stay and work in Florida.
“The sky is the limit for the little girl from Rockledge who used to work with her mom keeping score and announcing little league games,” said Orville Susong of the Friday Night Locker Room.
“Her dreams have now become a reality. Sam Martello, remember the name, she’s going to be around for a long, long, time.”
In her new gig at WJHG-TV as a multimedia journalist and reporter Martello has already moved up to a new time slot and is now a morning reporter for the station doing live shots from around the community.
“Sam has all the aptitudes and attributes to advance quickly,” said Space Coast Daily President and Publisher Tom Palermo, a 39-year veteran of the media business.
“With her work ethic and natural skills, I have no doubt she will be in high demand as she gains more experience in the business. She has superstar potential so don’t be surprised to see her on the national stage at some point in the near future.”