Sandra Averhart

News Director

Sandra Averhart has been News Director at WUWF since 1996. Her first job in broadcasting was with (then) Pensacola radio station WOWW107-FM, where she worked 11 years.  Sandra, who is a native of Pensacola, earned her B.S. in Communication from Florida State University.

For several years, Sandra was co-host of “Inside UWF” on WUWF TV. Also, she has partnered with WSRE TV to serve as co-host of their “Rally” candidate forums, most recently in 2012. Sandra also lends her voice to the University of West Florida athletics program.  She has worked as public address announcer for Men’s and Women’s Basketball, and continues to “work the mic” at UWF Volleyball and Softball games. Along the way, she has been P-A announcer for four NCAA Division II national championships, to include two each in volleyball and softball.

In her spare time, Sandra continues to enjoy playing softball. She lives in Milton with her husband Charles and two dogs, Beau and Mollie.

Ways to Connect

WUWF Public Media


In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the state of the economy before the House of Representatives, the African-American job gap and how job growth has slowed locally.


Not surprisingly, Yellen, who spoke on Feb. 10, had to answer partisan economic questions from both sides of the aisle in this election year, according to Harper.


WUWF Public Media


In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a recent column by Haas Center Director Zach Jenkins, which looks at affordable housing for low-income families and what factors are affecting the rise in the cost of renting versus buying.


Harper said the issue is something the Haas Center has been following for quite some time and that Jenkins’ piece focuses on families who rent – and the findings are discouraging.


Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Illustrations play a major part in the appeal of books to children to whom adults read aloud. The visual elements of picture books strike chords when they complement the text, reveal nuances of the story and reflect the world in which youngsters actually live.

For diverse scenarios, consider two new titles, “Happy in Our Skin” and “Last Stop on Market Street.”  Reading them is a personal way to celebrate Black History Month, but a good book is a good book every day of the year.

WUWF Public Media

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about the recession fears in the U.S., the volatility of world markets and a rise in the housing market.

The Federal Reserve’s acknowledgement of an economic downturn in financial markets at the end of 2015, despite a recovering jobs market is a concern for many, but there’s no reason to worry yet, according to Harper.

United Way of Escambia County


The United Way of Escambia County is once again providing free income tax filing assistance for residents who qualify.

“Our goal is to allow the service at no cost,” said Lyndi Warner, Volunteer and Community Engagement Director for United Way of Escambia.

WUWF Public Media

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses growth in leisure and hospitality as a driving factor in Pensacola’s economic growth.

In a recently published column, Harper wrote about how job growth in the leisure and hospitality sector has been steadily improving.

Harper said that job growth started at the end of the Great Recession in 2010, but was then stalled by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Dr. MLK Jr Celebration Committee of Okaloosa County

The legacy of slain Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is being celebrated with a host of events across the region leading up to the annual MLK Day parades on Monday.

For the Fort Walton Beach area, 2016 marks their 30th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.

“The theme for this year is “My Life Matters,” said Steve Chatman, co-chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee in Okaloosa.

WUWF Public Media

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about the economic issues discussed in the State of the Union address and discusses how important education will be for job development in the Pensacola area.

In his final State of the Union address, President Barrack Obama began by assuring Americans that the U.S. economy is the strongest and most durable in the world.

Brian LeBlanc

Since November of 2015, we’ve been getting to know Brian LeBlanc of Pensacola. He has been diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s. Now in his mid-50's, he has known about his condition for a little over a year now. As we continue our conversation, we focus on how the disease has impacted his daily life and how he’s dealing with it.

“Being this is radio, you can’t see what I’m doing right now, but I’m holding up my cell phone,” said LeBlanc. “That’s my constant companion.”

According to LeBlanc, his phone tells him everything, even when to eat.

WUWF Public Media

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the recent Chinese stock market crisis and its possible lasting effects. Also, he predicts how the Pensacola-area economy will fare in 2016.

China’s stock market has had a rocky beginning to 2016, and that is feeding doubt among investors about the country’s economic stability.

“China is a source of great uncertainty right now,” Harper said. “We had the shortest trading day ever in China as a result of the market falling 7.3 percent in about half an hour, which led authorities to shut it down.”

WUWF Public Media

In 2015, the nation’s economic recovery continued its slow, steady improvement. And, now as the year comes to a close, we’re taking a look at some of the economic highlights during the past 12 months here in Northwest Florida.

“Actually, good news, of course, with unemployment,” said University of West Florida economist Rick Harper, referring to the 5.0 percent unemployment rate recorded in October of 2015 for the Pensacola Metro area, which includes Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Santa Rosa County

Hunter Walker is wrapping up work as Santa Rosa County Administrator. In a final conversation with WUWF before leaving the post, he looked back at his 20 years on the job.

“Twenty years is a long time; that’s a generation,” said Walker. “The county’s changed a lot. I turned 65 in October so it seemed time.”

Walker has seen a lot of changes in Santa Rosa County during the past two decades, noting that the population was approaching 100,000 in the mid 1990’s, when he arrived. Now, approximately 163,000 people live in Santa Rosa.

Michael Spooneybarger / CREO University of West Florida

Coffee table books are can’t-miss choices for the impossible-to-buy-for people on any holiday list. Titles cater to extremely specific interests. Whether you’re shopping for a James Bond movie poster collector or a connoisseur of wine from Slovenia, publishers provide.

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses what the slight rise in unemployment claims means for the economy and the possible changes to the state’s short sell mortgage laws.


The Dec. 5 unemployment claims are in, and the state’s initial claims have risen to their highest point in five months – up 13,000 to 282,000. But Harper says that’s no cause for alarm. Depending upon when the month ends, where Thanksgiving falls and where Christmas spending begins, the reports can be volatile from week to week.