Q. Sometimes, Scott visits locations that would take more than a traditional “tankful” of gas. Why is the segment then called “Florida on a Tankful?”
Scott likes to say, “Florida is our own big backyard.” When the critically acclaimed Florida on a Tankful series first began after News 13 signed on in 1997, the locations featured we traditionally found around Central Florida. As the years went on, the series grew in popularity, and Bay News 9 added Tankful to their programming, the name stuck. Today you can find Scott traveling from Key West one week to Jacksonville the next and then showcasing an old favorite closer to home the week after.
Q. Where can I watch Florida on a Tankful?
Several places! On television, new segments can be seen on the Spectrum networks in Orlando and Tampa.
News 13 in Orlando, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Palm Coast and Kissimmee airs the segments Thursday-Sunday. Catch Tankful during Your Morning News and all afternoon.
Bay News 9 in Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg airs Tankful Thursday-Sunday as well. Catch Scott in the morning and afternoons on both days.
Online, Spectrum customers can find stories on MyNews13.com and BayNews9.com in the Travel section, found under the On The Town link. You can always find new Tankful content directly at www.mynews13.com/Florida-Tankful and www.BayNews9.com/Florida-Tankful
Q. What makes a Florida on a Tankful segment?
A. Scott likes to joke that determining what makes a Tankful is similar in nature to an equation following the likes of the quadratic formula. Location, drive time, family friendly nature, uniqueness, answering the question, “Have we done something similar?” and “Is it evergreen?”
What does evergreen mean? Because Florida on a Tankful airs on both News 13 in Central Florida (the Orlando television market) and the Bay Area (the Tampa television viewing area), we feature stories and locations that are open daily, weekly or seasonally.
Q. Can you cover our festival?
A. Scott loves cheesecake! While the annual pie festival, fishing tournament and weekend craft bizarre are wonderful places where families can enjoy each other’s company, they traditionally do not continue for more than one weekend. Therefore, by the time Scott and his crew arrive, record the segment, return back to our newsroom, write the segment (Scott says he’s a slow writer), voice it, edit it and get it approved for air, the event or festival has come and gone. We never want to spotlight a location where the folks watching at home can’t visit because it’s closed or they would have to wait another 51 weeks to visit the next year.
Q. Where are you going next?
A. Great question. At any one time, there are a dozen Tankful stories in different stages of production. Many are shot, waiting to be written. Scott is careful to pick each week’s story so that it is different in nature, drive time and price point from the story you saw a week prior. You can also keep up with Scott's adventures by following him on Twitter.
Q. Where can I find old editions of Florida on a Tankful?
A. We’re building our archives to include evergreen stories from weeks and months gone by. Looking for a former story and can’t find it? Use Scott as your resource. Write him at Scott.Fais@charter.com Sorry, folks. DVDs or copies of Tankful stories are not available for purchase.
Q. Who do I contact with an idea or story pitch?
A. Scott loves feedback. Viewers can contact him at Scott.Fais@charter.com. Public relations representatives and publicists can also email or send a story idea through our website. To streamline production and conserve fuel, Scott will traditionally shoot several stories in one location at the same time. Then, over the course of several months, he will roll out one of the stories at a time.
Q. Where can I learn more about Scott? How did he get the job? What does he like to do when not traveling?
All good questions for the man who seldom slows down. Scott got bit by the travel bug in college, while living in London. He spent weekends backpacking through the United Kingdom and Europe. His favorite pastime would be a hammock on a beach, but he hasn’t sat in one in years. Read about everything Scott here.
Q. What is Scott’s favorite place?
A. He claims he does not have one! Scott admits trying to pick a favorite place would be like trying to pick which one of your kids you love more.
Q. What's with Scott's wild shirts?
A. Scott laughs that he dresses as "The Eternal Tourist." Scott's Tankful wardrobe has consisted of 34 tropical print shirts. From time to time, some shirts are retired, while others are added to the collection (one literally fell to shreds after a saltwater shoot off Key West).
Some viewers have asked whether Scott has his own line of shirts. The answer is no. He has collected the attire during travels across Florida and while on vacation on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Some have come from high-end retailers, while many were found in discount shops and outlet stores. Several shirts will be packed in the Tankful car, with the lucky one being pulled out as the production begins.
To date, Scott has traveled more than 100,000 miles across the Sunshine State. That’s like driving roundtrip around the equator three times.
So far, Scott has visited more than 400 locations and attractions across Florida.
News 13 Meteorologist Dave Cocchiarella was the first host of Florida on a Tankful after News 13 signed on 1997. A talented lineup of reporters took turns hosting the segment before Scott took the helm in spring 2007. The segment started airing on Bay News 9 in the middle of the last decade.
Tankful has received four Emmy Awards from the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Scott accepted the first golden statue in 2009 in Orlando and a second in 2010 in Fort Lauderdale. A third was bestowed in November 2013, but Scott was too busy working on a new Tankful special to accept it in person.
Internally, Florida on a Tankful is referred to by its initials: FLoaT (it’s also one of Scott’s favorite things to do on a hot summer day).
The topical postcards that end each Florida on a Tankful segment, and have become somewhat the icon of the piece, are traditionally made from a snapshot taken on a digital camera. Scott admits there have been a few times when he forgot the camera and had to rely on a “screen grab.”