Erica Rakow is thrilled to be back home in South Florida, where she was born and raised. Her career as a journalist has taken her to every corner of Florida, but, uniquely, she's never left the Sunshine State.
Erica was born in Miami Beach and then moved to Weston as a young girl. She graduated from Cypress Bay High School and during her time there was a student journalist with BECON-TV, serving as a co-anchor of Broward Teen News.
Erica went on to study telecommunication at the University of Florida. As a student, Erica was deeply involved in student government, became a sister of the Delta Gamma sorority, anchored for WUFT and reported at Gainesville's ABC affiliate, WCJB.
Two weeks after she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, Erica began her first full-time job in news as the weekend anchor/producer/reporter at WJHG in Panama City Beach. She moved there just as the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred.
During her two years there, Erica covered numerous presidential visits to the Gulf coast and other major, national stories related to the disaster. She was also at the scene of the shooting inside the Bay County school board meeting, another story that made headlines and thrust the small, coastal town into the headlines. Erica also helped expose a dangerous, synthetic drug known as bath salts. Months after her first report caught the eyes and ears of state lawmakers, Attorney General Pam Bondi visited Panama City for a bill signing banning the drug in Florida.
After two years there, Erica made her way across I-10 to the first coast and joined WJXT in Jacksonville as a general assignment reporter. As a part of that news team, Erica spent a few nights at sea with our United States Navy aboard the USS New York as it shifted home ports from Norfolk, Virginia, to Mayport. She covered the historic move from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Erica also traveled to the National Police Memorial in Washington, D.C., with local survivors of two officers killed that year in the line of duty. She accompanied their co-workers and family members to the nation's capital as the heroes' names were added to the national memorial wall.
The event is near and dear to Erica's heart, as she grew up going to it each year to honor her father, Miami Beach police Officer Scott Rakow, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1988. Erica provided live reports from where her dad's name can be found on the wall. It marked the 25th year since his death. Her exclusive reporting helped those in the Jacksonville community understand what the families of the most recent officers killed were experiencing.
From Jacksonville, Erica went on to work for WKMG in Orlando before returning to South Florida and joining the Local 10 News team in October 2016. You can most often catch Erica live between 5-7 a.m. and at noon.
When she's not out chasing a story, Erica is most likely hanging out with her rescue dog Skylar. She, her husband, Scott, and Skylar can be found on the beach, running, checking out local restaurants (dog-friendly patios are a plus) and traveling. What she loves most about her job is getting to know new people around South Florida every day. Erica says fate brought her back home to Local 10. She calls it a dream to be working at the station she grew up watching and an honor to be where people who have had such profound impacts on South Florida, such as Dwight Lauderdale and Ann Bishop, worked.
If you have something you want to talk to her about, a story idea, a tip, feedback or a restaurant recommendation, she welcomes your e-mails. Erica loves talking with community groups and educating students through classroom visits. Feel free to shoot her a message at email@example.com any time.