Sotak steps aside as KFVS sports director

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Steve Sotak emphasizes that he will still be a big sports fan -- he simply won't be reporting sporting events to local television viewers any longer.

And, Sotak added, "I've left 'Heartland News' but I haven't left the Heartland."

Sotak, the sports director at Cape Girardeau television station KFVS for the past 12 years, was on the air for the final time on April 2. A desire to spend more quality time with his family led Sotak to leave the station for a job as a local sales representative with Bayer pharmaceuticals.

"I was looking for something that would give me more time with my family, especially with my evening work at the station," Sotak said. "And it was important that my family and I be able to stay in the area. We love it here, we've made our home here, so everything worked out perfectly."

Sotak, a Pittsburgh native who turns 42 Sunday, lives in Jackson with his wife, Tammy, and their two daughters, Alexandra, 8, and Nicole, 5.

"I've been in the business 20 years, but my priorities changed when I had my family," he said.

Sotak said his sales representative position -- which he will officially begin after several weeks of training -- will primarily involve traveling throughout Southeast Missouri, with virtually no overnight trips.

"I'll be home with my family every night," he said. "This job seems like way out in left field, but a lot of things I did in my old job will transfer into my new job. I know the area, I already know a lot of the doctors, and people know me. Hopefully that will help me out."

Of his career highlights at KFVS, Sotak said, "There have been so many, but some that stand out are covering the Masters, two Super Bowls and three NCAA basketball tournaments.

"I'll miss it, and the people I've worked with and gotten to know through my work."

KFVS officials said a national search is being conducted to find Sotak's replacement. Among those throwing their hat in the ring is Chad Fryman, a sports anchor/reporter at KFVS the past seven years and the station's only other full-time sports employee. Fryman has been heading the sports department since Sotak's departure.

"I would love to have the job," said Fryman, 32, who is originally from Ohio. "I know the area, and I love it here."

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