by Alfred Hood
For more than 20 years, Hudson native Scott Sabol has been a meteorologist at WJW Fox 8, most recently working the station’s morning show after spending several years on the evening weather beat with the late meteorologist Dick Goddard.
Two years ago, Scott’s brother John joined him as on-air Fox 8 talent. John is the sports reporter during the week and a sports anchor on the weekends. He is also a fill-in sports anchor during the week and a news anchor on the weekends.
While Sabol brothers are at the same TV station, Scott said their schedules rarely overlap.
“People always ask, ‘How do you like working with your brother?’ I go, ‘I rarely see him,’” he said.
They did, however, spend lots of time together growing up in Hudson. Playing in the city’s many parks and sports fields and going to get ice cream at Saywell’s after baseball games –a sport both brothers enjoyed playing – are standout memories of growing up in Hudson, they said.
Scott, 12 years John’s senior, also coached the younger brother’s baseball team.
“I had an older brother [as] coach,” John said. “So, everyone thought that was the coolest thing.”
Scott added, “I got to coach [John] when he was little in my summers home from college … and I wouldn’t change that for the world.”
Even now, the brothers say the sense of community around sports is important.
“That was the biggest thing, the community of the organization of the sports when you’re younger and then you grow up. And now it’s blown up even more,” Scott said. “My dad would, even to this day, run into some buddies of mine at Home Depot.”
The Sabol brothers attended the same schools in Hudson and mentioned being inspired by many of the same teachers.
John was first introduced to broadcasting in high school, taking a broadcast journalism course where he and a friend had their own sports show, “Hit or Miss,” which covered school sporting events. The class was John’s first experience, “getting in front of a camera and learning scriptwriting,” skills that serve him well at Fox 8.
The class was “taught by a teacher that all of us, our siblings had, Roseann Canfora,” John explained. Canfora, now an administrator at Cleveland Municipal School District, also teaches at John’s alma mater, Kent State University.
Scott was similarly introduced to what would become his profession at a young age. Before working beside Goddard, Scott was one of the legendary Cleveland meteorologist’s youngest “Weather Watchers,” regularly contributing weather data. He was featured in a 1988 Hudson Hub Times article about his weather-watching role.
“I was always calling in to Dick Goddard,” Scott recalled. “I had a rain gauge. And Dick Goddard would always mention, ‘Hey, so-and-so called in and mentioned 3.2 inches of rain.’ And he would say my name on the air. As a little kid, 10 years old, that’s kind of cool.”
“As [Scott] got older,” John added, “he’d have a rain gauge in our parents’ backyard in my mom’s garden. So, he would go back there and look at it.”
John said he was similarly inspired by an interaction with the Cleveland Cavaliers, legendary radio broadcaster Joe Tait.
“We would go to the Cavs games at the Old Richfield Coliseum. And one day after the game, we got to listen to his entire post-game show. And he gets done, and Scott introduces him to me and to us. From that moment on, I knew I wanted a little taste of some broadcasting,” he said.
Scott ended up interning at WJW Fox 8 on the morning show in the summer of 1995. He eventually left to work in West Virginia but before leaving, Scott made his first audition reel. John remembers visiting the studio and watching as Scott filmed the reel, which he continued to submit remotely until he was welcomed to work full-time at Fox 8.
John would also end up interning and working in West Virginia and in Tampa, Florida. John produced his own reels but remembers sending in website links rather than tapes. Eventually, these reels would also net him a job at Fox 8.
“I grew up rooting for the Cavs and the Browns and the Indians and always wanted to report on them,” John said of returning to Northeast Ohio.
Although John now lives in Twinsburg and Scott in Medina, they remain involved in the Hudson community. Their parents live in the same family home that they built in the ‘70s and the boys grew up in.
“My son just went off to college and the one thing I told him, among other things, was never forget where you come from,” Scott said. “When you get older, you realize how important that is. … Hudson’s a special community, and when you move away from Hudson, you realize what you’re missing. And then when you come back, you realize, “Wow, this was a special place.’”
“You realize why so many people come back, not just to Northeast Ohio, but to Hudson,” John agreed. “It is a very special place, near and dear to our hearts.” ∞
Scott (r) and John Sabol – ages 24 and 12
in this 1997 photo – have found memories
of their time on Hudson sports teams.
On our cover (photo): Hudson natives and brothers Scott (r) and John Sabol work together at WJW Fox 8, where Scott is a longtime meteorologist and John – 12 years his junior – has been a sportscaster for two years. Photo submitted.