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Tampa-St. Petersburg

Joe Gumm Out, Ian Reitz In at WTSP in Tampa

reitz_gumm wtspWTSP morning anchor Joe Gumm (right) is no longer with the Tampa-St. Petersburg CBS affiliate.

WTSP GM Elliott Wiser confirmed with TVSpy, the station has named Ian Reitz (left) as Gumm’s replacement.

“I have some exciting news to share,” Reitz wrote on his facebook page. “Later this year my wife and I will be moving to the Tampa Bay area where I’ve accepted a morning anchor job.”

Reitz comes to WTSP from WSMV in Nashville, where he is a morning anchor. Before coming to WTSP in 2012, Gumm worked at KOKH in Oklahoma City.

[Florida News Center]

Rich Pegram Out as GM at Tampa’s WFTS

ABC_Action_News_generic_20121113091948_320_240Tampa-St. Petersburg ABC affiliate WFTS has dismissed general manager Rich Pegram, with station owner Scripps telling the Tampa Bay Times “Rich is no longer with the Scripps corporation.”

Pegram, 63, led WFTS Channel 28 as it surged in ratings in recent years. He joined WFTS after 26 years with top NBC affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis and CBS affiliate WTVR in Richmond, Va.

WFTS Channel 28 is owned and operated by E. W. Scripps Co., a media conglomerate that includes such properties as HGTV, the Food Network and various ABC and CBS affiliate TV stations. A recent spinoff contains the company’s daily and community newspapers.

Pegram had been GM at WFTS for seven years.

WTVT Sparks Criticism with Baseball Tweet

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.02.51 PM

WTVT, the Fox-owned station in Tampa, deleted a tweet about the departure of Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price for Detroit. The tweet, which mocked Detroit as an urban ruin compared to Tampa Bay’s beautiful beaches, was roundly knocked. Yahoo Sports writer David Brown described the effort at comedy as “shameful”:

Not original or funny, just mean-spirited and misleading. In fact, St. Petersburg, Fla., (where the Rays play) doesn’t compare as well to Detroit as Fox 13 might think when it comes to crime. And if you’ve ever actually been to Detroit, and interacted with the people who work and live there, you’d never consider hurting their feelings like this.

Sports Illustrated called the joke “awful”–”Ha! Poverty! Hilarious!”–and questioned the sincerity of the station’s apology, which came in meme form. SI said that “doesn’t really convey sincerity.”

Andy Alford Named GM of WFLA

andyalfordMedia General has named Andy Alford VP and GM of Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA.

“This is a very exciting opportunity and I look forward to working with the talented group of broadcast professionals at WFLA,” Alford said in a statement.

Alford, who starts at WFLA on August 1, comes to the station from WTEN in Albany where he was named GM in 2010 by Young Broadcasting. He will continue in his role as VP of Sales for Media General.

Alford has also worked at WGCL in Atlanta, working his way up from general sales manager to station manager to general manager in the seven years he worked there. He has also worked in Orlando, FL, and Syracuse and Rochester, NY.

Lindsay Logue Makes Her Tampa Debut

logue wftsWhen Lindsay Logue left Fort Myers NBC affiliate WBBH earlier this month, she told viewers it was to spend more time with her family.

Yesterday, she was introduced as the new morning traffic reporter on Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS.

Under the picture featured (Logue is second from right), she wrote on her facebook page, “So excited for my Tampa debut! I’m thrilled to be joining this amazing team at ABC Action News – WFTS/TV. #UpWithABC — with Dan ShafferDeiah Riley and Shay Ryan.”

What Are Local Stations Covering?

Today we look at the Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL, market.

We see more diversity of stories here than other markets we’ve looked at.

FOX owned station WTVT takes the prize, with NBC affiliate WFLA a close second, for doing something completely different by leading with a local man put on trial for allegedly planning a terror attack and only covering two stories in the first five minutes.

Gayle Sierens Stepping Down from WFLA Anchor Desk in 2015

Longtime WFLA anchor Gayle Sierens has announced her retirement.

Sierens told viewers during last night’s 6:00 p.m. show she plans to step down from the Tampa NBC affiliate’s anchor desk in stages. At the end of this year, she will stop anchoring the 11:00 p.m. news and on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 she will anchor her last shows at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.

“I am so grateful to live out my career in the town where I grew up. Who gets to do that?” Sierens said in a statement. “I am truly excited for this next phase of my life. I have worked the night shift for more than three decades.”

The station posted a retrospective mash up of Sierens work, see the video above.

Sierens started at WFLA in 1977 as weekend sports anchor and reporter. In 1983 she became the weekday sports anchor. She made the move from sports to news two years later.

In 1987, she made TV sports history when she became the first woman to do play-by-play for an NFL game, calling the the Kansas City Chiefs game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Anne Dwyer Announces Retirement from WTVT

Good Day Tampa Bay anchor Anne Dwyer announced her retirement from WTVT this morning.

“Anne Dwyer has been a morning news icon in Tampa for decades,” John Hoffman, news director for the Tampa FOX owned station, said in a statement. “Mornings in Tampa Bay will not be the same without her. She is the utmost professional and we will miss her.”

Saying one of the reasons she was retiring was because she out of hairspray, Dwyer told viewers, “It was not an easy decision. It’s time for me to sleep in, get some much needed rest, and tackle the numerous home improvement projects I have put off way too long.”

She started at WTVT in 1986. Her last day will be June 18.

John Wilson Retiring From WTVT

WTVT anchor John Wilson announced his retirement from the Tampa FOX owned station Friday.

“It is time for me to make a graceful exit, and I will do it in a few months,” Wilson told viewers. “I will step away from here in six months in November, just before Thanksgiving, and count my blessings.”

“John Wilson is a broadcasting legend, who our viewers have trusted for many years,” said WTVT news director John Hoffman. “We will certainly miss him here at the station, but we have no doubt his connection to the people of the Bay Area will continue for years to come.”

Before coming to WTVT in September 1993, Wilson worked in Richmond, VA, Portsmouth, NH, Charlotte, NC, and St. Louis, MO. He came to Tampa to work for WTSP in 1981 and stayed there as an anchor for 12 years.

Tampa Reporter Leaving TV to Work for Florida Congressman

rudie croppedWTSP reporter Preston Rudie is leaving the Tampa CBS affiliate to work as communications director for Rep David Jolly (R-FL).

“For the past 23 years, I’ve been serving the public and helping give a voice to the voiceless as a journalist,” said Rudie in a statement. “I think my years of working in the area and experience covering the issues that affect Pinellas County will help me better serve the people of the 13th District.”

Rudie started his TV career at WGBA in Green Bay, WI and worked at WITI in Milwaukee, WI, before moving to WTSP in 2002.

He officially starts Monday, April 21.

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