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Tampa-St. Petersburg

Nick Nicholson Named VP and General Manager at WFTS

NickNicholsonNick Nicholson is joining Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS as vice president and general manager.

Steve Wasserman, divisional general manager of Scripps Media and GM of WPTV, confirmed the move to TVSpy following an internal email he sent to WFTS staff this morning.

“Nick is a highly regarded media executive with an impressive track record of success in several competitive markets,” Wasserman writes. Nicholson spent 27 years with the Belo TV group, most recently as President/GM of KTVK/KASW in Phoenix. Before that, Nicholson ran WVEC in Norfolk, was GM of the Belo-owned Fox/UPN stations in Tucson, and VP of Sales at Belo flagship WFAA in Dallas/Ft. Worth. Gannett acquired Belo late last year.

Nicholson replaces Rich Pegram who was shown the door last month after 7 years as WFTS GM. Nicholson’s first day in Tampa is Monday.

Chris Field Out at WTVT

Fields WTVTWTVT has released a statement on the departure of sports anchor and reporter Chris Field Saturday.

By the wording of the Tampa FOX owned station’s news director John Hoffman‘s statement, it appears the decision to leave wasn’t Field’s.

“I want to thank Chris for her many years of service and dedication to the FOX 13 news team,” said Hoffman. “Her professionalism, creativity and passion will certainly be missed by our viewers. This decision was based on a restructuring of the sports department. We wish her well in all her future endeavors.”

“I’m grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure to meet and work with over the past 17 years at FOX 13 and in the community,” Field said in a prepared statement. “I’ve established relationships and friendships to last a lifetime. I appreciate the incredible sports events I’ve had the privilege to cover, and the inspirational stories I’ve had the honor to tell.  I’m proud of our award-winning sports team at FOX 13 and wish my colleagues all the best. I have built my career and home here in Tampa Bay. I appreciate all the support as my family and I move into the next chapters of life in this wonderful community.”

According to her bio, Fields started at WTVT the same day the MLB Devil Rays were formed in the expansion draft, November 17, 1997.

Ashley Yore Joins WFTS as Reporter

Ashley Yore has joined Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS as an MMJ and reporter.

Before working at WFTS, Yore worked at WSYX-WTTE in Columbus for three years. WSYX wished her well on twitter.

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.

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