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Tampa-St. Petersburg

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.

Power Outage Knocks WTSP Off the Air

wtsplogo_304x200Tampa CBS affiliate WTSP went off the air for Comcast and Dish Network customers for two hours Wednesday night after a power failure at the station’s transmitter, The Tampa Tribune reports. General manager Elliott Wiser posted details to the station’s Facebook page:

The outage mainly affected two TV stations and several radio stations. Our generator suffered a pump failure two hours in. We got it fixed at around 9:30. We will be installing two pumps to make sure this doesn’t happen again and will review our inspection schedule to make it better.

I am sorry to those of you who could not watch Survivor. It is available right now on CBS.com, and we will also be re-airing the episode Saturday night, March 1 at 11:35 p.m. following 10 News at 11.

Bill Berra Named News Director at WFLA

bill berraBill Berra has been named VP of news for Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA.

Berra left his position as VP of news for Journal Broadcasting and Milwaukee NBC affiliate WTMJ in early February.

“I’m delighted to welcome a news veteran of Bill’s caliber to WFLA,” said station GM Brad Moses. “He has a strong record of success increasing ratings and audience share at a number of television stations across the country. Importantly, he knows the Tampa market well, having worked in this market in recent years.”

Berra came to WTMJ from WFTS in Tampa. He’s also worked at WSYX in Columbus, OH, WKMG in Orlando, KSAZ in Phoenix, AZ, and KTVI in St. Louis, MO, and WREG in Memphis, TN.

He will start at WFLA on March 17.

[Florida News Center]

Dion Lim Joining Tampa CBS Affiliate

dionlim_croppedDion Lim is joining Tampa-St. Petersburg CBS affiliate WTSP.

WTSP news director Peter Roghaar told TVSpy Lim starts January 27 as anchor for the 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. news. She will report for the 11:00 p.m.

“I had anticipated staying in Charlotte for the rest of my career,” Lim told the Charlotte Observer. [but] “I went down to visit and the opportunity was great [O]bviously, Florida has some crazy news. It sounds pretty exciting,” she added.

Lim left Charlotte’s WCNC Friday. She previously worked at KMBC in Kansas City. She has also worked in Springfield, MA, and in Hartford, CT.

Kristin Wright Joins WRC From WTVT

kristin wright wrcKristin Wright is joining WRC next month, TVSpy has learned. She will begin as a general assignment reporter at the NBC owned station in Washington, D.C. on December 16.

Wright joins WRC from WTVT, the Fox owned station in Tampa, where she has been a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor since 2008. She has previously worked at WHTM in Harrisburg, Penn. and at WIVT-WBGH in Binghamton, N.Y. She began her television career at WDIV in Detroit.

News Director Don North Out at WFLA

wfla smallNews director Don North is out at WFLA, Media General’s NBC affiliate in Tampa, the Tampa Tribune reports.

North joined WFLA in 2008 from KCTV-KSMO in Kansas City, where he was the news director for 10 years. Before that, he was news director at WKYC in Cleveland.

No new news director has been named. According to the Tribune, Media General vice president for content Donna Reed will oversee WFLA in the transition.

Andrew Luria Joins KSWB in San Diego

andrew luriaAndrew Luria has joined KSWB as anchor of the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. weekday newscasts. His first day at the San Diego Fox affiliate was Monday.

Luria moves to San Diego from Tampa-St. Petersburg, where he has been a sports anchor and reporter at ABC affiliate WFTS since 2010. Before that, he worked at stations in Sacramento, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and Eureka, Ore. He is a graduate of Cornell University.

WTSP to Open Sarasota Newsroom

isabel mascarenas_304x200WTSP, the CBS affiliate in Tampa-St. Petersburg, is opening a newsroom dedicated to covering Sarasota and Manatee counties.

The new newsroom will be located at the headquarters for a local news/talk radio station in downtown Sarasota. Reporter Isabel Mascareñas (pictured) and photojournalist Tim Burquest will be based in the new newsroom.

“Our commitment is to thoroughly cover news in our entire Tampa Bay market,” WTSP news director Peter Roghaar said in a statement. “There are a lot of great things happening in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton and we want to make sure we are providing news coverage every day. Isabel and Tim live in Sarasota and are passionate about reporting in their hometowns.”

WTSP Drops Sharing Agreement with Rival Stations

wtsp_304WTSP has dropped its local news sharing agreement with two other Tampa stations ABC affiliate WFTS and FOX Owned station WTVT.

Initial reports were that the CBS affiliate had laid off four staffers in the move, but according to Florida News Center, WTSP general manager Elliott Wiser explained there were three photographers and one reporter who were working as part of the sharing agreement. The three photogs were encouraged to apply for the same positions at WTSP and Wiser said freelance reporter Dave Heller will still be used.

There’s no word whether the three photographers and Heller will still be used by the other two stations.

Wiser, who came to WTSP in June, also told FNC that the original sharing agreement had expired in 2012, but the three stations had continued to participate until this month because Wiser said it was “just not working” for the station.

Former WFTS Reporter to Run for Congress

Former WFTS reporter Alan Cohn will challenge Rep. Dennis Ross (R) to represent Florida’s 15th Congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Cohn, who plans to officially announce his candidacy this week, was an investigative reporter at the Tampa-St. Petersburg ABC affiliate. He left the station in June 2012.

Cohn told Deggans that his run for office will likely prevent him from working as a reporter in the future. “You can’t do what I’m doing and go back to covering a beat,” Cohn said. “But I would like to do this more than any job I can think of.”

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