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Posts Tagged ‘Ken Tonning’

Elliott Wiser Named President, GM of WTSP

Gannett Broadcasting has named Elliott Wiser president and general manager of WTSP, the CBS affiliate in Tampa-St. Petersburg.

Wiser comes to WTSP from Bright House Networks, where he was corporate vice president of local programming. He is a former vice president and general manager of Bay News 9 in Tampa.

“Elliott’s record of success in multimedia broadcasting and business, plus his deep connections in the Tampa area, will be a huge asset to WTSP,” Gannett Broadcasting EVP Lynn Beall said in announcing the hire. “We’re confident in his ability to strengthen the WTSP brand and help position it as the leading local news organization in the Tampa market.”

Wiser succeeds Ken Tonning, who is retiring after 38 years with Gannett.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to lead WTSP,” Wiser said. “With remarkable investigations, unwavering dedication to the community and an award-winning staff, they are tremendous advocates for the people of Tampa and poised to become the go-to destination for local news and information.”

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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

Tampa’s WTSP Launches Partnership with PolitiFact

Tampa’s WTSP is partnering up with PolitiFact to produce fact-checking segments during the 2012 election, the station announced today.

“The content from the PolitiFact team fuels Tampa Bay voters with important information to make voting decisions,” WTSP president and general manager Ken Tonning said in a statement. “PolitiFact is sometimes entertaining, and always informative.”

PolitiFact, which is operated by the Tampa Bay Times, will partner with WTSP to “scour  hours of 2012 campaign speeches and TV ads for statements to check.” In addition to focusing on the Presidential campaign, the teams will also fact-check Florida governor Rick Scott and Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn. Read more

Tampa Bay’s WTSP Adds Meteorologist Kate Wentzel to Revamped Weather Team

After a string of defections, WTSP has rounded out its revamped weather team with the addition of meteorologist Kate Wentzel this week.  Wentzel comes to WTSP after working as a weekend weathercaster for West Palm Beach ABC-affiliate WPBF–a post that she departed in April.

“Kate is going to be another great addition to the team,” WTSP news director Peter Roghaar said, in announcing the move.  “She brings almost ten years of experience forecasting Florida weather and is hurricane-tested.”

Wentzel, who is set to begin on September 26th, is the third meteorologist to join WTSP in the past two months.  The CBS-affiliate recently named Orlando veteran Jim Van Fleet chief meteorologist and added Mark Collins, a native of St. Petersburg. Read more

WTSP to Debut 9 a.m. Newscast Targeted at Women

Saying that he felt there was “an opportunity for growth” in the time period,  WTSP president and general manager Ken Tonning announced this week that the station will debut a new, half-hour newscast at 9 a.m.

“10 News at 9am” will be anchored by Keith Jones and Ginger Gadsden, with Bobby Deskins doing weather.

The new, weekday newscast will be feature-oriented, focusing on issues important to women.  It is set to premiere on Monday.

“I don’t think anyone owns the time period,” Tonning told the St. Petersburg Times. “And we know there’s a market for local programming in the mornings.”

WTSP May Be Left with Just One Weathercaster in Heart of Hurricane Season

Is it possible that St. Petersburg’s WTSP may only have one weathercaster on its payroll going into the heart of hurricane season?

That’s the question Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times is asking, pointing out that meteorologists Sherry Ray Hughes and Chris Suchan are both scheduled to leave the Gannett-owned station by the end of September. Their imminent departures mean that WTSP would be left with just Bobby Deskins on its weather team.

WTSP general manager Ken Tonning assures Deggans that the station, which brands itself as “Your Local Weather Authority,” is “actively pursuing replacements.”

Hughes is expected to leave the station in mid-August for personal reasons and Suchan will depart at the end of September, reportedly for a chief meteorologist post at another station.