Definitions

WTTA

WTTA

WTTA, channel 38, is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for the Tampa Bay Area that is licensed to St. Petersburg. Its transmitter is located in Bloomingdale. Owned by Bay Television, the station is operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group through a local marketing agreement (LMA). WTTA has studios on Bald Cypress Place in the West Park section of Tampa. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, Family Feud, The People's Court, and Judge Mathis. On cable, it can be seen on Bright House and Knology channel 6, Comcast channel 11 in Sarasota County, and Comcast channel 29 in Hardee County.

History

Channel 38 had previously been home to the area's first television station, WSUN-TV, which operated from 1953 to 1970. In 1986, a local group won a new license for channel 38. WTTA was originally scheduled to sign-on in the Fall of 1990 with programming from the "Star Television Network" which offered a mix of old programming and infomercials under the TV Heaven name. In September of 1990, there was also an ad for TV Heaven 38 in the Tampa / Sarasota edition of TV Guide magazine. However, the station not ready to broadcast yet since Star was in financial trouble (it went dark January 16, 1991). On June 21 of that year, WTTA began its regular broadcasting schedule consiting mainly of syndicated shows passed over by other stations, barter programming, uncleared network shows, and infomercials. Due to the station's low budget, weekend programming tended to consist entirely of infomercials. WTTA also presented a televised version of WRBQ's morning radio program, Q Morning Zoo, until that station changed to country music in the early-1990s.

In December of 1994, Fox programming moved from WFTS-TV to WTVT as part of a group deal with WTVT's then-owners, New World Communications. That station did not pick up Fox Kids. Independent station WMOR-TV now airs the current 4Kids TV block on Sunday mornings. At the same time, the E.W. Scripps Company (owners of WFTS), cut an affiliation deal with ABC which resulted in WFTS selling most of its syndicated shows to WTTA. Meanwhile, CBS would move from WTVT to WTSP-TV the previous ABC affiliate. In 1998, WTTA’s owner, Bay Television, entered into a management agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group which in years to come would become one of the nation's largest broadcast companies. However, Bay Television is effectively a subsidiary of Sinclair. Bay Television is owned by David Smith, J. Duncan Smith, Frederick Smith, Robert Smith, and Robert Simmons. The Smith brothers also control Sinclair making Bay Television a de facto subsidiary of Sinclair. Also in 1998, WTTA became the Tampa Bay affiliate for The WB in a group deal with Sinclair stations. It used the on-air moniker WB 38. It ran cartoons from WB during the week until January of 2006 when WB discontinued the weekday kids block.

On January 24, The WB and UPN announced that they would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents: CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. On February 22, News Corporation announced that they would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division, Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming independent. It was also created to compete against The CW. Tampa Bay's UPN station, WTOG (which is owned by CBS) was confirmed as Tampa Bay's CW station. WTTA's future was uncertain until Sinclair announced that WTTA, along with most of Sinclair's WB and UPN affiliates, would affiliate with MyNetworkTV. The station branded as My TV Tampa Bay a week before the station began to air the new network. There were rumors that Fox would buy WTTA and create a duopoly with WTVT and make WTTA a MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station. As of 2008, this has not occurred. On September 3, 2007, WTTA began airing the controversial Live Prayer with Bill Keller. Keller had been bounced from station to station in the Tampa Bay area and landed on WTTA after a sudden departure from WTOG. The show would move to WXPX in November of 2007 after WTTA imposed new restrictions regarding live programming.

News operation

In August of 2003, WTTA started a news department and launched a 10 P.M. newscast (known as WB 38 News at 10) as part of Sinclair's News Central operation. Local news originated from WTTA's studios while national news, sports, and weather broadcasted from Sinclair's headquarters in Baltimore. This made WTTA one of a few WB stations to offer news. The newscast and WTTA's news department was shut down on March 31, 2006 due to poor ratings. It was replaced with syndicated programming. On October 8, 2007, evening news programming returned to WTTA. Sinclair and NBC affiliate WFLA-TV entered into a news share agreement and a weeknight 10 o'clock newscast produced by WFLA debuted on WTTA. It featured anchors Peter Bernard and Katie Coronado with weather from Mace Michaels or Leigh Spann. When WFLA upgraded its newscast to air in high definition, the WTTA broadcast was included. The 10 P.M. news airs from WFLA's studios on South Parker Street in downtown Tampa. The WFLA / WTTA news share agreement is similar to those established at Sinclair stations in Raleigh, Flint and Las Vegas.

NewsChannel 8 at 10 on My TV Tampa Bay
(Weeknights 10 to 10:35 P.M.)

  • Anchors:
    • Keith Cate
    • Stacie Schaible
  • Weather:
    • Steve Jerve
  • Sports:
    • Dave Reynolds

WTTA features additional news personnel from WFLA. See that article for a complete listing.

Past personalities

  • Susan Casper - anchor and investigative reporter
    • now at WFTS as a reporter and fill-in anchor
  • David Klugh - anchor
  • Summer Smith - anchor
    • now at Bay News 9 as a reporter and fill-in anchor
  • Wendy Brockman - anchor
  • Jennifer Gladstone - national news
  • Morris Jones - national news
  • Megan Glaros - meteorologist
  • Jon Leiberman - Washington D.C. correspondent
  • Jonas Schwartz - national sports
  • Mike Nabors - sports
  • Chris Garrido - sports
  • Mark Hyman - "The Point" segment producer
  • Dawn Pellas - reporter
    • went to WFTS-TV as a freelance reporter, now no longer there
  • Tara (Feather) Donovan - reporter and weekend producer
    • now Director of Resource Development at United Way of Manatee County
  • Jason Goodwin - reporter
    • now at Fox News Edge affiliate service as a producer
  • Diolinda Vaz - reporter
    • now media consultant in Boston
  • Rodney Tims - reporter

External links

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