Rick Russo

Sports Director
WVLT | Knoxville, Tennessee
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Local 8 Sports Director

Rick Russo
Local 8 Sports Director
A South Florida native, I grew up a sports junkie finding myself interested in several different sports, but my favorite was always football. While I was always a Miami Hurricanes fan, I finished my education at the University of Florida, considered then one of the top institutions for Broadcasting and Journalism in the Southeast.

My first professional job landed me in Savannah, Ga., where I worked for WSAV-TV (and was lucky enough to meet my wife). My career has taken me across the country and even out of the country, when I accompanied the UT baseball team on their visit to Cuba.

I’ve been fortunate enough to cover Super Bowls, Daytona 500 races and Final Four games. Two of the most memorable events I've covered involved UT football. One was the Miracle at Notre Dame. The other, of course, was watching Coach Fulmer's '98 Vols cap off a perfect season in winning the first BCS National Championship.

My outlook on life is very positive even after having five surgeries in a span of five years. I had major knee surgery in 2009, followed by hand surgery, two back surgeries, and then finally cancer surgery which involved the removal of my right kidney. Through it all I've maintained my love for life which includes a passion for staying active, which I do by exercising and playing golf.

I have been married to my lovely wife, Pam, for 26 years now, and we have two beautiful daughters. And our family has always included a dog!


  • Favorite Food:Italian

  • Favorite Musical Artist(s):70’s music

  • Favorite Escape: Disney World has to be one of my favorite getaways. Growing up in South Florida, I was able to visit the park just months after it opened back in 1971.

  • Hidden Talent:I grew up speaking French Creole and I can also speak Spanish.

  • Most Memorable Interview:Shaq at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. He was so much taller, I had to hold the microphone over my head.

  • My Hero: A stunt motorcyclist: I was attacked by a snake mid-interview.







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