BILL SAFOS - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

BILL SAFOS

You can catch Bill Safos' reports on weekday mornings from 4:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Bill grew up in Lakewood and says he wouldn't be where he is today without parents who paved the way and his teachers in the Lakewood Public Schools who pushed him down that path to his own success.

"I was a Greek immigrant kid who didn't speak a word of English on my first day of kindergarten," said Bill.

Bill credits his kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Charlene Morford with taking him under her wing and within two weeks not only had him speaking but reciting the entire alphabet. Bill also remembers Mrs. Patricia Robertson and Ms. Pam Grabo at Lakewood High School.

"Teachers are so important. Mine didn't just teach, they challenged me and opened my mind to a world of possibilities. Because of their success, I have mine" said Bill.

When Bill's family moved here from Greece, Bill was the youngest and learned English the quickest. He said their first TV was a big help. However instead of watching cartoons like other kids, Bill watched a lot of news.

"At first, I had to watch the news and translate it all for my dad. My big mistake, I started to like the news," jokes Bill.

He earned his Bachelor's of Journalism at The Ohio State University. His first reporting job was in our state capitol, but Bill worked for stations across the country.

From Columbus, he went to Los Angeles where he worked in TV, and at United Press International and the UPI Radio Network. There he covered national stories like the Los Angeles riots, the Malibu brush fires of 1993 and the Northridge Earthquake.

His court coverage of the Menendez brothers' murder trial earned him his own UPI byline.

From L.A. Bill went to TV stations in Oregon, Washington and Alabama. His stories from Hurricane Katrina aired on stations from here to the Gulf.

Bill has appeared on CBS This Morning, the CBS Early Show, CNN and other network programs. His reporting has been featured in a Lifetime documentary on Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight and the HBO documentary movie, Death on a Factory Farm.

He has earned state and national journalism awards. We're glad to have him back home!

Click here to email Bill.  You can follow Bill on Twitter.

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