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WTVT is a TV station in Tampa, Florida. It's an O&O station of the FOX Broadcasting Company. It broadcasts it's analog signal on VHF ch. 13 & it's DT signal on VHF ch. 12. WTVT's transmitter is located in Riverview, Florida. WTVT & sister station WOFL of the bordering Orlando market commonly share reporters & footage, as other station groups do.

HistoryEdit

The station first started broadcasting on April 1, 1955 as a CBS affiliate. It was the 3rd station in Tampa Bay, behind WSUN-TV (ch. 38, now WTTA) & WFLA (ch. 8). WTVT is also the 2nd-oldest surviving station, behind WFLA.

Originally, the F C C awarded the ch. 13 license to the Tampa Times, a now-defunct newspaper which owned WDAE radio (then on 1250 AM). However, the FCC reversed itself & awarded the station to the Tampa Television Company headed by Tampa Bay radio veteran Walter Tison, who intended to open a studio in nearby St. Petersburg. The Times appealed the FCC's decision, but lost. WTVT's call letters stand for the initials of Walter Tison & his wife, Virginia Tison. (Actually this incorrect: his wife's name was Exa. The call letters were suggested by Walter Tison's daughter, June. She chose the symmetrical letters because they could be read from either direction when seen on the antenna.) Like many other stations located on "unlucky" ch. 13, WTVT used a black cat as it's mascot for several years.

In 1956, the Tampa Television Company merged with the Oklahoma Publishing Company of Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Publishing's broadcast subsidiary, the WKY Television System, would later be known as Gaylord Broadcasting, named for the family who owned the company. The Gaylords beefed up ch. 13's news operation. In 1958, WTVT became the 2nd station in the country to introduce daily editorials & was also the 1st Florida station to run an hour-long news block, comprising of 45 minutes of local news (under the title Pulse 13) combined with the then-15-minute network newscast. By 1962, WTVT had overtaken WFLA-TV as the #1 station in the Tampa Bay market, retaining that position for over 25 years. This was largely because of the longevity of many of the station's personalities. For instance, Roy Leep was the station's weatherman from 1957 until 1997 & Hugh Smith was the station's main anchor from 1963 to 1991, spending most of that time doubling as news director. Ch. 13 dropped the Pulse 13 moniker from it's newscasts in 1989, renaming the news branding Channel 13 Eyewitness News (later becoming "FOX 13 Eyewitness News" in 1996 before the Eyewitness News brand was dropped altogether in 1997).

In 1987, WTVT was sold to Gillett Communications. In the early 1990s, Gillett restructured, changing it's name to GCI Broadcast Services, Inc. In 1993, GCI filed for bankruptcy & it's stations (including WTVT) were sold to New World Communications. By that time, WTVT was pre-empting CBS This Morning for a locally-produced morning news show, as well as pre-empting all but 1 hour of Saturday cartoons.

In late 1993, FOX won the rights to air the games of the NFC of the NFL from CBS, beginning in 1994. As a result, FOX began looking for more VHF affiliates & signed a long term deal with New World, switching most of it's stations, including WTVT, to FOX. WTVT dropped it's CBS affiliation in December 1994, becoming a FOX affiliate. The former FOX affiliate, WFTS (ch. 28), affiliated with ABC as part of a deal between ABC & WFTS' owners, the E.W. Scripps Company. The longtime ABC affiliate, WTSP (ch. 10), then became a CBS affiliate.

After changing networks, WTVT began to broadcast almost 50 hours of local news a week. At 1 point, WTVT aired more hours of local news than any other station in the country. It chose not to renew the more expensive syndicated programming it had run while a CBS affiliate, running cheaper 1st-run syndicated talk & reality shows instead.

FOX bought most of the New World stations in 1997, making WTVT a FOX O&O station. Under FOX ownership, the station added more high-budget syndicated shows & a few off-network sitcoms to it's lineup & changed it's brand to FOX 13. WTVT is the 3rd station in Tampa Bay to be affiliated with FOX, as WTOG had it 1st before reverting to independent status in the late 1980's.

WTVT was the 1st TV news station in Florida to use radar in it's weather presentation & has made many advancements with the technology. It's newest advancement is SkyTower VIPIR, combining the already existing SkyTower radar system with VIPIR technology, which is also used by competitor WFLA-TV & the cable-only NewsChannel Bay News 9. On May 25 2006, the station's radar was made even more powerful & is now "SkyTower HD VIPIR." WTVT was also one of the 1st to use computer graphics in weather forecasts in the late-1970s, originally called "Weathervision" (no relation to the weather reporting company of the same name). The station also has the most meteorologists on a news team (in the market), with 5 meteorologists & the only station (in the nation) with all of them AMS certified.

Today Edit

WTVT is the only station in the market to have 2 women regularly anchoring a newscast; Denise White & Kathy Fountain anchor the 5 PM news.

WTVT began to adopt it's current logo, which is similar to that of the FOX News Channel, in December 2005 as part of NewsEdge @ 11, although they did not completely switch to it until February 2006. The station was the 1st FOX O&O to use this logo style, which is gradually being adopted by it's sister stations in other markets.

WTVT & WFLA are chief competitors for the #1 newscast in the Tampa Bay Area. WTVT currently has the #1 spot for Good Day Tampa Bay between 5-9 AM & has the #1 news in the 5-6 PM timeslot. NewsEdge @ 11 is statistically tied with WFTS for the lowest rated newscast for that time period, although WTVT does have a 10 PM newscast with significantly higher ratings without any competition in the market.

New SetEdit

Starting in March 2007, WTVT began upgrading their main studio. The new set debuted on April 23rd.

Some aspects of the set include a 6' by 8' rear projection screen, a new anchor desk, a whole new weather center & an area for the Lightning Round & a 2nd anchor desk. There are also several plasma TVs behind the main news desk in the newsroom. Not all of the studio is complete yet. The Your Turn area is still under construction & will be complete in the next few weeks. There is also a new area dedicated to updating & maintaining their website, which is also currently under construction.

Newscasts Edit

WeekdaysEdit

  • Good Day Tampa Bay: 4-10 AM
Anchors: Jennifer Epstein (4-7 AM), Walter Allen (4-7 AM), Laura Moody (7-10 AM) & Russell Rhodes (7-10 AM)
Weather: Dave Osterberg
Traffic: Vanessa Ruffles 
  • FOX 13 News @ Noon: 12-1 PM
Anchor: Denise White
Weather: Jim Webber 
  • FOX 13 5 PM News: 5-6 PM
Anchors: Denise White & Cynthia Smoot
Weather: Paul Dellegatto
  • FOX 13 6 PM News: 6-7 PM
Anchors: Mark Wilson & Kelly Ring
Weather: Paul Dellegatto
Sports: Chip Carter
  • FOX 13 10 PM News: 10-11 PM
Anchors: Mark Wilson & Kelly Ring
Weather: Paul Dellegatto
Sports: Chip Carter
  • Fox 13 News @ 11: 11 PM-12 AM
Anchor: Cynthia Smoot
Weather: Paul Dellegatto
Sports: Chip Carter

WeekendsEdit

  • Good Day Tampa Bay Weekend: 6-10 AM (Saturdays), 6-9 AM (Sundays)
Anchors: Bill Murphy & Laura Moody
Weather: Andy Johnson
Traffic: Bob Blush, Bob Smart or Bob Timlin
  • FOX ThirTEEN Magazine: (Teen produced newscast) 10:30-11 AM (Saturdays)
  • FOX 13 6 PM News: 6-7 PM
Anchors: Lloyd Sowers & Deborah Bowden
Weather: Jim Weber
Sports: Chris Field (Saturday) & Chip Carter (Sunday)
  • FOX 13 10 PM News: 10-11 PM
Anchors: Lloyd Sowers & Deborah Bowden
Weather: Jim Weber
Sports: Chris Field (Saturday) & Chip Carter (Sunday)
  • FOX 13 11 PM News: 11-11:30 PM

PersonalitiesEdit

Current PersonalitiesEdit

Anchors

  • Kelly Ring, 6 & 10 PM anchor
  • Mark Wilson, 6 & 10 PM anchor
  • Denise White, noon & 5 PM anchor
  • Cynthia Smoot, 5 PM and 11PM Anchor
  • Jennifer Epstein, Good Day Tampa Bay weekday 4:30 AM-7 AM anchor
  • Walter Allen, Good Day Tampa Bay weekday 5-7 AM anchor
  • Laura Moody, Good Day Tampa Bay weekday 7-10 AM anchor
  • Russell Rhodes, Good Day Tampa Bay weekday 7-9 AM anchor
  • , Good Day Tampa Bay weekend anchor
  • Deborah Bowden, weekend 6 & 10 PM anchor & reporter
  • Lloyd Sowers, weekend 6 & 10 PM anchor & reporter

Meteorologists

  • Paul Dellegatto, weekday evening meteorologist (Chief)
  • Dave Osterberg, Good Day Tampa Bay meteorologist
  • Jim Weber, Noon Meterologist
  • Andy Johnson, Good Day Tampa Bay weekend meteorologist

Sports

  • Chip Carter, sports director
  • Chris Field, sports anchor
  • Kevin O'Donnell, sports anchor

Reporters

  • Eric Seidel, Consumer Lawyer
  • Doug Smith, investigative reporter (also fills in for anchors)
  • Dr. Joette Giovinco ("Dr. Jo"), medical reporter
  • Nancy Perla, general assignment reporter
  • Ray Collins, Sarasota/Manatee County reporter (also fills in for anchors)
  • Jennifer Epstein, Good Day Tampa Bay Traffic Analyst
  • Liane Jackson, Good Day Tampa Bay reporter
  • Geoff Simon, financial advisor
  • Charley Belcher, Charley's World & entertainment reporter
  • Tanya Arja, general assignment reporter
  • Chris Chmura, general assignment reporter
  • Warren Elly, general assignment reporter
  • Jim Hill, general assignment reporter
  • April Kellogg, general assignment reporter
  • Steve Nichols, Pinellas County reporter
  • Craig Patrick, general assignment reporter (also fills in for anchors)
  • Nancy Perla, general assignment reporter
  • Ken Suarez, Polk County reporter
  • Randy Powers SkyFOX pilot & reporter
  • Peter Linton-Smith, Pasco County reporters

Former PersonalitiesEdit

  • Landis Wilkinson(1955-1956), anchor (retired)
  • Jack Cosgrove (1955-1958), chief photographer (deceased)
  • Marvin Scott (1955-1968), general assignment reporter (deceased)
  • Guy Bagli (1955-1957), sports anchor/director (deceased)
  • Wayne Fariss (1955-1958), anchor & news director (retired)
  • Jerry Krumbholz (1955-1960), booth news announcer
  • Charlie Stump (1955-1957), chief meteorologist (deceased)
  • Roger Sharp (1956-1957), news anchor (deceased)
  • Cy Smith (1956-1980s), reporter, editorial researcher & writer (retired)
  • Roy Leep (1957-1997), chief meteorologist (retired)
  • Sol Fleischman (1957-1974), sports anchor & director (deceased)
  • Ed Herbert (1957-1958), anchor & reporter
  • Crawford Rice (1958-1960), anchor & news director, (1978-79), general manager (retired)
  • Arch Deal (1958), general assignment reporter & anchor (retired)
  • Joe Loughlin (1959-1962), anchor & news director
  • Don Harris (1958-1968), general assignment reporter (deceased)
  • Earl Wells (1960-1967), general assigment reporter
  • Tom Dunn (1962-1964), reporter & anchor (deceased)
  • Hugh Smith (1963-1991), anchor (deceased)
  • Andy Hardy (1963-1996), sports anchor (deceased)
  • Ray Dantzler (1963-1986), reporter, news director & station general manager (deceased)
  • Nelson Medina (1963-1967), meteorologist (retired)
  • Tony Zappone (1965), (1976-1982), news correspondent
  • Bob Walker (1965-1980s), stringer & hard news (deceased)
  • Chip Collins (1965-1966), St. Petersburg anchor (deceased)
  • Jule McGee (1967-2010), reporter, chief photographer, news operations manager, etc. (retired)
  • Ray Blush (1967-1982), reporter, Project 13 chief & news director
  • Bob Fellows (1968-1984) general assignment & feature reporter (deceased)
  • Bruce Hutchcraft (1968-1980) reporter & farm reports (noon) (deceased)
  • Walter "Flash" Jarocki (1972-1980s) reporter & photographer for Tarpon Springs (deceased)
  • Leslie Spencer, anchor (1970s-1996)
  • Scott Shuster, noon anchor (1972-1975)
  • John Hayes, (1972-1980), Tallahassee bureau chief & assignment editor (retired)
  • Deanna Lawrence, reporter & anchor (1970s-1990s) (producer, "What's Right with Tampa Bay")
  • Dayle Green, reporter & host "Black Contact" (1971-1978)
  • Carl Nichols (1969-1972), meteorologist (now @ WDTN)
  • Bob Breck (1971-1973), meteorologist (now @ WVUE)
  • Pete Johnson (1973-1980) sports anchor & reporter
  • Leslie Schissell (1972-1981), general assignment reporter & Tallahassee bureau chief
  • Sara Golinveaux (1973-1976), general assignment reporter & Tallahassee bureau
  • Tim Smith (1974-1980), general assignment reporter
  • John Ferrugia (1975-1978), anchor & reporter (now @ KMGH)
  • Pat Colmenares (1975-1979), host of Pulse Plus @ Noon (deceased)
  • Bill Kowal (1974-1978), meteorologist
  • Bob Stone (1975-1978), sports anchor & staff announcer (deceased)
  • Jim Dick (1977-1979), reporter & weekend anchor (now @ WRN Radio in Madison, WI)
  • Larry Elliston (1977-1991), general assignment reporter & Project 13 staff
  • Phil Dean (1977-1980s), anchor & reporter
  • Bonnie Ginzburg (1978-1981), reporter & weekend anchor (now @ PBS)
  • Ann Carlon (1978-1979), sports reporter & weekend sports anchor
  • Ron Bailey (1979-1980), weekend sports anchor
  • Jim West (1978-1986), anchor, reporter & news director
  • John Nicholson (1978-1981), 11 PM anchor
  • Alan Wendt, reporter (1978-1993)
  • Don Piccolo, sports anchor & reporter (1978-1979)
  • Rod Challenger (-1978), anchor
  • Bill Keneely (1980-1982), meteorologist (now @ The Weather Channel)
  • Ron Jackson (1983-1988), sports reporter & weekend sports anchor
  • Jack Harris (1984-1989) "Pulse PLUS!" host. (now @ WFTS & WFLA-AM)
  • Terry Casey (1985-1989), 6 & 11 PM news commentary
  • Kelly Craig (1985-1990), 6 & 11 PM anchor (now @ WTVJ)
  • Greg Starddard (1987-1989, reporter & assignment editor, left for KFMB-TV in San Diego
  • Kerry Sanders (1987-1992), reporter (now @ NBC News)
  • Sharyl Atkisson (1988-1991), reporter (now @ CBS News)
  • Mike McCall (1988-1993), overnight meteorologist (now @ WCTV)
  • Theresa Varga (late 1980s-early 1990s), meteorologist
  • Liz Brunner (late 1980s-1994), anchor & host (now @ WCVB)
  • Hagit Limor, consumer reporter (late 1980s-1994) (now @ WCPO)
  • Stan Jayson (1991-2001), reporter
  • Jerry Lambert (1992-1995), reporter (now @ WICS)
  • Ken Krawley (1992-1996), investigative reporter
  • Brian Goff (1995-2006), morning & noon reporter (retired)
  • Jessica Yellin (2000-2002), reporter (now @ CNN)
  • Steve Wilson, investigative reporter, (now @ WXYZ)
  • Karen King, morning anchor
  • Stacy Strazis, "Good Day Tampa Bay" (1994-1997)
  • Colin Cowherd (?-1996), sports anchor (now @ ESPN Radio)
  • Karen Borta (?-1995), anchor/reporter (now @ KTVT/KTXA)
  • Dave Monsees, reporter (mid 1990s)
  • Bob Barnard, reporter (mid 1990s-1997) (now @ WTTG)
  • Amani Channel (Late 1990s-2006), anchor (now @ the Black Family Channel)
  • Cathy Unruh, reporter (1991-2000) (now @ WEDU as a talk show host)
  • Eric Chilton (1997-2003), morning meteorologist (now @ WFMY)
  • Kara Cox (late 1990s), traffic reporter (now news producer)
  • Suzanne Huffman (1980s), education reporter
  • Glenn Selig (1995-2007), reporter
  • Carol Sadler (1980-1985), sports reporter and weekend sports anchor

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit



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This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at WTVT. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Local News Stations Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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