TVNewser LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllTwitter AllFacebook InsideFacebook InsideSocialGames InsideMobileApps

Tampa-St. Petersburg

Tampa’s WFLA Adds Midday Newscast

WFLA, the NBC affiliate in Tampa-St. Petersburg, is launching an 11:30 a.m. newscast on Monday.

Natalie Shepherd will anchor the half-hour newscast. WFLA’s entertainment and lifestyle show, “Daytime,” will move to 10 a.m., replacing the station’s current 10 a.m. newscast.  “Extra” will move to 11 a.m.

Rod Carter and Gayle Guyardo, the 10 a.m. anchors, will continue to anchor the morning newscast. Morning meteorologist Leigh Spann will “continue her weather coverage throughout the day,” according to a statement from WFLA.

Meteorologist Megan Hatton Leaving WFLA

Megan Hatton, the weekend morning meteorologist at WFLA, is leaving Tampa NBC affiliate and moving to Houston.

Hatton is joining her husband, a director at ABC O&O KTRK, in Texas. She joined WFLA in 2007 as a weather producer and fill-in meteorologist.

“WFLA was Megan’s first on-air weathercasting job, and she has grown enormously in that role. I know she’s going to join her husband in Houston, but if I was a news director there with a need for an accomplished meteorologist, I would hire her,” WFLA news director Don North said in a statement.

Hatton is the second WFLA meteorologist to announce her departure for Houston this week. Brooks Garner is joining KHOU.

Stan Gill Named VP-GM of WTOG in Tampa

Stan Gill is the new vice president and general manager of WTOG, the CBS-owned CW affiliate in Tampa-St. Petersburg.

Gill joins WTOG March 14 after 14 years with ACME Communications. He has been the company’s COO since 2010 and President and COO since 2012. He served as VP-GM of ACME’s KWBQ-KASY in Albuquerque from 2006-12.

“Stan is an outstanding local station operator who is extremely well suited to lead WTOG given all the success he has had running multiple CW stations,” CBS Television Stations president Peter Dunn said in a statement. “We look forward to having him join the talented group of employees we have at WTOG and oversee the continuing growth of one of the top CW affiliates in the country.”

Gill replaces Laura Caruso, who is departing the station to pursue other opportunities, according to CBS. Read more

John Rogers Joins WFLA From WALA

John Rogers is joining WFLA, the NBC affiliate in Tampa-St. Petersburg. He will be a reporter covering Manatee and Sarasota counties.

“Sarasota and Manatee counties are important areas of coverage for News Channel 8. And, we think it’s vital to have a reporter who actually lives in the area where he works,” news director Don North said in a statement. “John will live in Sarasota, where he’ll have the opportunity to really get to know the community.”

Since 2009, Rogers has been a reporter at WALA, the Fox affiliate in Mobile, Ala. Prior to that, he worked at WCTV in Tallahassee.

WTSP General Manager Announces Retirement

Ken Tonning, general manager for Tampa CBS affiliate WTSP has announced plans to step down in July, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Tonning came to the Tampa CBS affiliate four year ago, making changes along the way that may have pushed the edge of traditional journalism. “You’ve got to make sure you’re providing information the way viewers want,” Tonning told the Times. “It’s that kind of stepping out and getting noticed that makes a difference.”

The 68-year-old general manager is credited with returning the station to its “10 News” brand, adding a more in-your-face style of reporting reminiscent of the style seen in South Florida, and adding a 9:00 a.m. newscast focused on issues important to women. Read more

Jerry Penacoli Named Co-Host of WFLA’s ‘Daytime’

Jerry Penacoli has been named co-host of “Daytime,” WFLA‘s nationally syndicated show.

Penacoli has been a correspondent on “Extra” for 13 seasons. He has also been a host for E! Entertainment Television, an anchor for KYW in Philadelphia and a host and producer to WTVJ in Miami. His career began at WJKS in Jacksonville, where he was an anchor and general assignment reporter.

“I am very pleased to announce the addition of Jerry Penacoli to ‘Daytime,’ ” WFLA president and general manager Brad Moses said in a statement. “Our long standing relationship with ‘Extra’ and his frequent visits to guest host made him a staff and viewer favorite.”

“Daytime” airs in more than 130 markets across the country.

Bright House Drops General Managers of Central Florida News and Bay News 9

The Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker is reporting both Robin Smythe, vice president and general manager of Central Florida News 13, and Rod Gramer, vice president and general manager of cable news station Bay News 9, have been let go due to a reorganization.

Elliott Wiser, vice president of local programming for Bright House Networks, announced the changes in a staff memo Monday. “Through careful analysis, we became aware there was redundancy in our organizational structure,” he said. “Therefore, effective today, the VP/GM positions at Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13 will be eliminated.”

Smythe had been with the station since its inception in 1997. She started as news director before working her way up to the front office.  Gramer joined Bay News 9 in July of 2011 after 13 years at Portland, OR, NBC affiliate KGW. Read more

Meteorologist Andy Johnson to Retire After 33 Years at WTVT

Meteorologist Andy Johnson has announced his retirement from WTVT after 33 years at the Tampa Fox O&O.

“I am fortunate to have been blessed with having worked with such professional colleagues and followed by such loyal viewers. Being a meteorologist for WTVT was a childhood dream of mine, which I was able to fulfill,” Johnson wrote on Facebook. “Tampa is my home and always will be.”

A spokesperson for the station said the search for Johnson’s replacement is underway. WTVT’s current meteorologists will fill in until a permanent replacement is named.

“We thank Andy for bringing his expertise and accurate weather forecasting to our station for the last 33 years,” WTVT VP-GM Jeff Maloney told TVSpy in a statement. “We wish him the best of luck in the future.” [h/t Florida News Center]

Noreen Parker Named GM at WTTA in Tampa

Noreen Parker is stepping into the role of general manager at WTTA, Sinclair’s MyNetworkTV affiliate in Tampa.

Since 2009, Parker has been corporate director of news and digital sales for Bright House Networks. She is a former general manager of WTSP, the CBS affiliate in Tampa.

“Noreen brings strong, sales leadership skills and television station management experience,” Sinclair COO Steve Marks said in a statement. “We look forward to building on her digital media sales successes and the many relationships she has developed during her years in the Tampa market.”

WFLA Faces Cable Blackout Over Retrans Deal

Negotiations between Media General’s Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA and cable provider Bright House Networks are coming down to the wire.

The deadline to reach an agreement over retransmission fees is scheduled for 11:59 p.m. Monday, December 31.  If no agreement is in place by then, Bright House may drop the station from its lineup cutting viewer’s ability to watch their favorite NBC shows.

The companies are duking it out away from the negotiating table. WFLA aired warnings about the impending blackout to its viewers (watch the video after the jump) and posted arguments on a web page called “Don’t Drop News Channel 8″ where it wrote in part,

We understand that companies like Bright House pay fees as high as $4.40 per subscriber per month for ESPN and around $1.00 per subscriber per month for TNT and Disney Channel.  These channels have NO local programming, NO local employees, NO local investments, and little to no audience, all unlike News Channel 8. Yet, we are asking for nowhere near what Time Warner/Bright House pays for ESPN, even though our ratings trounce ESPN’s. Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>