Sabirah Rayford On Her TV News Career, Growing Up In Kansas And More


WHO: WPTV NewsChannel 5 TV multimedia reporter Sabirah Rayford

WHAT: The Ketel One Botanicals Mint Beachcumber cocktail, paired with the Ahi Tacos of crisp tortilla, citrus soy, avocado and lightly spiced sesame rice; the Eggplant Parmigiano of basil, pesto, San Marzano tomato sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano and mozzarella; and the Bruschetta of avocado, stracciatella, prosciutto, pomegranate and basil.

WHERE: Cucina, 257 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach / 561.855.7799 / / @cucinapalmbeach

As a little girl growing up in Kansas I wanted to one day: become a journalist. At all of our major family gatherings I would walk around with a Barbie camcorder and microphone asking my family members the important questions, like which aunt made the best sweet potato pie. I even recruited my cousins to help with the production.

What most people don’t realize about beginning a career in local TV news is: all of the work that goes into it. As a news reporter, especially early in your career, you are researching, writing and shooting all of your own stories, and then also writing print versions for the web. There are a lot of long hours, and the deadlines are extremely tight.

The on-camera moment I’ll never forget is the time when: I was broadcasting live from the mall in my first TV market. As I was wrapping up my live-shot, a man snuck up behind me and tapped me on my shoulder. It almost scared me, but I was able to focus and keep my cool.

Something that I often hear from viewers when I meet them in public is: “I didn’t know you were that tall!” I’m 6 feet tall barefoot, and unless I’m standing next to the person I’m interviewing, it’s hard for viewers to tell that I’m that tall. The follow-up question is usually, “Did you play basketball or volleyball?” And the answer is no. But I did spend a couple of years on the track team.

The sit-down interview I’d love to have would be with: Oprah. I grew up watching her show with my mom, and I’ve always admired her long career in journalism. She empowers women to be themselves and to follow their own dreams.

Overland Park, Kansas

A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Rayford attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington where she began her burgeoning broadcast TV career as just a sophomore, joining the sports department of the local CBS affiliate WKYT before transitioning into news and multimedia journalism. In 2015 she was awarded the Associated Press “Feature Story of the Year” at the Kentucky Broadcaster Awards, and also claimed the coveted “Best In Show” honors that same year. Rayford spends her free time reading and writing her own poetry, traveling and unwinding at the beach. She currently resides in West Palm Beach.

The Beachcumber


The Beachcumber:

1.5 ounces Ketel One Botanicals Cucumber Mint

1 ounce St. Germain

.75 ounces lime juice

.75 ounces pineapple juice

Shake ingredients, strain and serve over ice with fresh mint and cucumber wheel.

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