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Tampa-St. Petersburg

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.”

Meteorologist Mike Bennett Joining WTVT

Mike Bennett is joining WTVT, the Fox O&O in Tampa, as the weekend evening meteorologist.

“Growing up, I was always fascinated by Florida weather, from hurricanes to water spouts, and everything in between. Now as a Meteorologist, I’m excited to tackle these forecasting challenges of the area, while working with the best weather and news team in the Tampa Bay region,” Bennett said in a statement.

Bennett joins the station from WTEN in Albany, where he has worked since 2011. He has also worked at WYSR in Syracuse and as an intern at WCBS in New York City.

Read the official announcement from WTVT after the jump. Read more

WFLA Launches Market’s First 4:00 PM News

WFLA, Media General’s Tampa NBC affiliate, has announced it will be the first Tampa station to air a 4:00 p.m. newscast.

“The addition of a 4 p.m. newscast reflects the strength of our 8 On Your Side brand in serving the people in Tampa Bay and surrounding counties,” said WFLA president and general manager Brad Moses in a statement.

The hour long show will debut on Monday, August 26 and will be anchored by Stacie Schaible.

WATCH: WTVT Meteorologist Trips, Revealing ‘Stuff’ Behind News Desk

When WTVT meteorologist Dave Osterberg tripped over a box holding anchor Russell Rhodes‘ things while walking between the news desk and the weather wall, the morning news nearly devolved into a George Carlin routine about “stuff.”

While you can’t see the trip in the video posted to the Tampa FOX owned station’s facebook page, you can hear it. Osterberg made it through his forecast OK. But stuff happened when the anchors came back on camera.

From a wide shot above the anchor desk, viewers could see Rhodes cleaning up the mess left by Osterberg who explained, “Well you see Russell’s got all this stuff that he puts on this little box and it was right behind my chair so that when I pulled my chair out it…”

All told, Osterberg revealed that Rhodes keeps lemon juice, mouth spray, Altoids, a to-do list and nine pens close-by during the show. “Do you need all this stuff? asked Osterberg. Rhodes replied, “Well its my stuff! I’m out here for four hours every morning.”

Anne Dwyer also got in on the act, pointing out to viewers where she keeps her stuff.

[Florida News Center]

WTXL Promo Appears During Live Shot on Rival WCTV

During a WCTV live shot Friday from the Tallahassee Regional Airport, a promo for rival WTXL flashed on the screen behind reporter James Buechele (picture above; video here).

Buechele was talking about the airport’s potential expansion when the ad in the terminal flipped over to a graphic featuring WTXL anchors Mika Highsmith and Greg Angel. The promo aired twice, both before and after Buechele’s taped package.

Danica Lawrence to Join WTSP in Tampa

Danica Lawrence is joining Gannett’s Tampa CBS affiliate WTSP as a multi-media journalist.

WTSP news director Peter Roghaar confirmed with TVSpy, Lawrence will begin next Friday June 28.

Lawrence left Tulsa FOX affiliate KOKI last week. The station posted this to her facebook page, “As you may have seen, Danica’s last day to report at FOX23 was yesterday. She’s moving on to Tampa.”

[Tulsa TV Stations]

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