Definitions

WTVT

WTVT

WTVT, channel 13, is a television station in Tampa, Florida. It is an owned and operated station of the Fox Broadcasting Company, a subsdiary of the News Corporation. WTVT's studios are located in Tampa, and its transmitter is located in Riverview, Florida.

History

The station first started broadcasting on April 1, 1955 as a CBS affiliate. It was the third station in Tampa Bay, behind WSUN-TV (channel 38, now WTTA) and WFLA-TV (channel 8). WTVT is also the second-oldest surviving station, behind WFLA.

Originally, the Federal Communications Commission awarded the channel 13 license to the Tampa Times, a now-defunct newspaper which owned WDAE radio (then on 1250 AM). However, the FCC reversed itself and awarded the station to the Tampa Television Company headed by Tampa Bay radio veteran Walter Tison, who intended to open a studio in nearby St. Petersburg. The Times appealed the FCC's decision, but lost.

While WTVT's call letters appear to stand for We're TeleVision in Tampa, they actually stand for the initials of Walter Tison and his wife, Virginia. Like many other stations located on "unlucky" channel 13, WTVT used a black cat as its mascot for several years.

In 1956 the Tampa Television Company merged with the Oklahoma Publishing Company of Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Publishing's broadcast subsidiary, the WKY Television System, would later be known as Gaylord Broadcasting, named for the family who owned the company.

The Gaylords beefed up channel 13's news operation. In 1958, WTVT became the second station in the country to introduce daily editorials, and was also the first station in the country to run an hour-long news block, comprising of 45 minutes of local news (under the title Pulse) combined with the then-15-minute network newscast. By 1962, WTVT had overtaken WFLA-TV as the number-one station in the Tampa Bay market, retaining that position for over 25 years. This was largely because of the longevity of many of the station's personalities. For instance, Roy Leep was the station's weatherman from 1957 until 1997, and Hugh Smith was the station's main anchor from 1963 to 1991, spending most of that time doubling as news director. Channel 13 dropped the Pulse moniker from its newscasts in 1989, renaming the news branding Channel 13 Eyewitness News (later becoming "Fox 13 Eyewitness News" in 1996 before the Eyewitness News brand was dropped altogether in 1997).

Also in 1962, the station's remote broadcast facilities were chosen for live coverage of John Glenn's Mercury-Atlas 6 splashdown.

In 1987 WTVT was sold to Gillett Communications. In the early 1990s Gillett restructured, changing its name to GCI Broadcast Services, Inc. In 1993 GCI filed for bankruptcy, and its stations (including WTVT) were sold to New World Communications. By that time, WTVT was pre-empting CBS This Morning for a locally-produced morning news show, as well as pre-empting all but one hour of Saturday cartoons.

In late 1993, the Fox Broadcasting Company won the rights to air the games of the National Football Conference of the National Football League from CBS, beginning in 1994. As a result, Fox began looking for more VHF affiliates, and signed a long term deal with New World, switching most of its stations, including WTVT, to Fox. WTVT dropped its CBS affiliation in December 1994, becoming a Fox affiliate. The former Fox affiliate, WFTS (channel 28), affiliated with ABC as part of a deal between ABC and WFTS' owners, the E.W. Scripps Company. The longtime ABC affiliate, WTSP (channel 10), then became a CBS affiliate.

After changing networks, WTVT began to broadcast almost 50 hours of local news a week. At one point, WTVT aired more hours of local news than any other station in the country. It chose not to renew the more expensive syndicated programming it had run while a CBS affiliate, running cheaper first-run syndicated talk and reality shows instead.

Fox bought most of the New World stations in 1997, making WTVT a Fox owned-and-operated station. Under Fox ownership the station added more high-budget syndicated shows and a few off-network sitcoms to its lineup, and changed its brand to Fox 13. WTVT is the third station in Tampa Bay to be affiliated with Fox, as WTOG had it first before reverting to independent status in 1988.

WTVT was the first TV news station in Florida to use radar in its weather presentation, and has made many advancements with the technology. Its newest advancement is SkyTower OMNI, combining the already existing SkyTower radar system with OMNI andVIPIR technology, which is also used by competitor WFLA-TV and the cable-only news channel Bay News 9. On May 25, 2006, the station's radar was made even more powerful and is now "SkyTower HD VIPIR." WTVT was also one of the first to use computer graphics in weather forecasts in the late-1970s, originally called "Weathervision" (no relation to the weather reporting company of the same name). The station also has the most meteorologists on a news team (in the market), with five meteorologists, and the only station (in the nation) with all of them American Meteorological Society certified.

Today

WTVT airs roughly 52 1/2 hours of news per week, and is the only station in the market to have two women regularly anchoring a newscast; Denise White and Kathy Fountain anchor the 5:00 news.

WTVT began to adopt its current logo, which is similar to that of the Fox News Channel, in December 2005 as part of NewsEdge at 11:00, although they did not completely switch to it until February 2006. The station was the first Fox O&O to use this logo style, which is gradually being adopted by its sister stations in other markets. However, the current logo retains the numeric "13" which has been part of the station's logos since 1989.

WTVT and WFLA-TV are chief competitors for the number one newscast in the Tampa Bay Area. WTVT currently has the number one spot for Good Day Tampa Bay between 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and has the number one newscast in the 5 to 6 p.m. timeslot. NewsEdge at 11:00 is statistically tied with WFTS for the lowest rated newscast for that time period, although WTVT does have a 10:00 p.m. newscast with significantly higher ratings without any competition in the market.

WTVT is also the only station in Tampa Bay to use two news helicopters. The first one, SkyFOX, is a Bell 206 and is painted black. The second, SkyFOX 2, is a Robinson R44 and is painted blue. This helicopter is used whenever SkyFOX is grounded for mechanical reasons. When warranted, both helicopters are used to cover significant news stories.

WTVT announced that it will be part of the .2 Network sometime in December.

New Set

Starting in March 2007, WTVT began upgrading their main studio. The new set debuted on April 23rd.

Some aspects of the set include a 6' by 8' rear projection screen, a new anchor desk, a whole new weather center, and an area for the Lightning Round and a second anchor desk. There are also several plasma televisions behind the main news desk in the newsroom.

Switch to High definition

WTVT Meteorologist Andy Johnson stated in a Q&A on their site MyFoxHurricane.com that WTVT has the cameras to go HD but won't make the switch till sometime next year.

SkyTower Omni goes online at Fox 13

Always a national leader in weather forecasting. FOX 13 Unveiled SkyTower Omni on Friday September 12th, 2008 The High-Powered tool can do things no other forecasting system can. Chief Meteorologist Paul Dellegatto said. And WTVT is currently the only station in America to use the Omni weather system. SkyTower Omni

Monsanto controversy

In 1997 Fox's WTVT fired journalists Jane Akre and her husband Steve Wilson for "refusing to include knowingly false information in their report concerning the Monsanto Corporation's production of RBGH, a drug designed to make cows produce more milk than what is natural. They sued Fox under Florida's whistleblower law. In August 18, 2000, the jury unanimously determined that Fox "'acted intentionally and deliberately to falsify or distort the plaintiffs' news reporting on BGH.' In that decision, the jury also found that Jane's threat to blow the whistle on Fox's misconduct to the FCC was the sole reason for the termination..

However, Fox appealed to an appellate court and won in 2004, after the court declared that the FCC policy against falsification that Fox violated was just a policy and not a "law, rule, or regulation", and so the whistle blower law did not apply. The Florida appellate court agreed with WTVT's (Fox) argument "that the FCC's policy against the intentional falsification of the news -- which the FCC has called its "news distortion policy" -- does not qualify as the required "law, rule, or regulation" under section 448.102.[...]Because the FCC's news distortion policy is not a "law, rule, or regulation" under section 448.102, Akre has failed to state a claim under the whistle-blower's statute.

Digital television

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 17, 2009 , WTVT will continue digital broadcasts on its current pre-transition channel number, 12. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display WTVT's virtual channel as 13.

Newscasts

Weekday Newscasts

Good Day Tampa Bay

Good Day Tampa Bay is a morning show that airs weekdays from 5:00AM-9:00AM and weekends from 6:00AM-9:00AM on WTVT, the Fox owned station in the Tampa Bay market. The show started on September 12, 1994, three months before WTVT became a Fox affiliate.

Good Day Tampa Bay team

  • Anchors: Nerissa Prest (5-7 a.m), Tom Curran (5-7 a.m.), Anne Dwyer (7-9 a.m.), Russell Rhodes (7-9 a.m.)
  • Weather: Dave Osterberg
  • Traffic: Jennifer Epstein
  • Other featured presenters: Charley Belcher ("Charley's World" feature reports), Geoff Simon (financial analyst)

Other newscasts

  • Fox 13 News at Noon: 12:00-12:25 p.m.

Anchor: Denise White
Weather: Howard Shapiro

  • Your Turn (local debate/discussion show) 12:25-1:00 p.m.

Host: Kathy Fountain

  • Fox 13 5:00 News: 5:00-5:30 p.m.

Anchors: Denise White, Kathy Fountain
Weather: Paul Dellegatto

  • Fox 13 5:30 News: 5:30-6:00 p.m.

Anchors: Frank Robertson, Cynthia Smoot
Weather: Paul Dellegatto
Sports: Chip Carter (M-Th), Chris Field (F)

  • Fox 13 6:00 News: 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Anchors: John Wilson, Kelly Ring
Weather: Paul Dellegatto
Sports: Chip Carter (M-Th), Chris Field (F)

  • Fox 13 10:00 News: 10:00-11:00 p.m.

Anchors: John Wilson, Kelly Ring
Weather: Paul Dellegatto
Sports: Chip Carter (M-Th), Chris Field (F)

Anchor: Mark Wilson
Weather: Paul Dellegatto
Sports: Chip Carter (M-Th), Chris Field (F)
NewsEdge Reporter: Gloria Gomez

Weekends

Anchors: Ray Collins, Laura Moody
Weather: Andy Johnson
Traffic: Beth Ames

  • Fox ThirTEEN Magazine: (Teen produced newscast) 10:30-11:00 a.m. (Saturdays)
  • Fox 13 6:00 News: 6:00-7:00 p.m. :

Anchors: Lloyd Sowers, Deborah Bowden
Weather: Jim Weber,
Sports: Chris Field (Saturday), Chip Carter (Sunday)

  • Fox 13 10:00 News: 10:00-11:00 p.m.

Anchors: Lloyd Sowers, Deborah Bowden
Weather: Jim Weber
Sports: Chris Field (Saturday), Chip Carter (Sunday)

Personalities

Current Personalities

Anchors

  • Deborah Bowden, weekend 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. anchor/reporter (since 1998)
  • Tom Curran, Good Day Tampa Bay weekday 5-7 a.m. anchor (since 1994)
  • Ray Collins, Good Day Tampa Bay weekend anchor & Sarasota/Manatee County reporter (since 2004)
  • Anne Dwyer, Good Day Tampa Bay weekday 7-9 a.m. anchor (since 1986)
  • Kathy Fountain, host of "Your Turn" and anchor of the 5 p.m. newscast (since 1985)
  • Laura Moody, Good Day Tampa Bay weekend anchor/reporter (since 2006)
  • Nerissa Prest, Good Day Tampa Bay weekday 5-7 a.m. anchor (since 2007)
  • Russell Rhodes, Good Day Tampa Bay weekday 7-9 a.m. anchor (since 1994)
  • Kelly Ring, 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. anchor (since 1985)
  • Frank Robertson, 5:30 p.m. anchor (since 1988) (married to WTVT anchor Kathy Fountain)
  • Cynthia Smoot, 5:30 p.m. anchor (since 1997)
  • Lloyd Sowers, weekend 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. anchor/reporter (since 1987)
  • Denise White, noon and 5 p.m. anchor (since 1990)
  • John Wilson, 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. anchor (since 1993) (Sons are WTVT NewsEdge anchor Mark Wilson, and notable actor Patrick Wilson)
  • Mark Wilson, NewsEdge at 11 anchor (since 1997)

Meteorologists

  • Paul Dellegatto, weekday evening meteorologist (Chief) (since 1990; chief since 1997) (AMS Certified)
  • Andy Johnson, Good Day Tampa Bay weekend meteorologist (since 1979) (AMS Certified)
  • Dave.Osterberg, Good Day Tampa Bay meteorologist (since 2003) (AMS Certified)
  • Howard Shapiro, weekday noon meteorologist (since 1972) (AMS Certified)
  • Jim Weber, weekend evening meteorologist (since 1995) (AMS Certified)

Sports

  • Chip Carter, sports director (since 1988)
  • Chris Field, sports anchor (since 1998)
  • Kevin O'Donnell, sports reporter / fill-in sports anchor (since 1988)

Reporters

  • Tanya Arja, general assignment reporter (since 2001)
  • Charley Belcher, Charley's World and entertainment reporter (since 1998)
  • Chris Chmura, general assignment reporter (since 2007)
  • Warren Elly, general assignment reporter (since 1982)
  • Jennifer Epstein, Good Day Tampa Bay Traffic Analyst (since 2006)
  • Dr. Joette Giovinco ("Dr. Jo"), medical reporter (since 2005)
  • Gloria Gomez, NewsEdge at 11 reporter (since 2005)
  • Liane Jackson, Good Day Tampa Bay reporter (since 2006)
  • April Kellogg, general assignment reporter (since 2006)
  • Peter Linton-Smith, Pasco County reporter (since 2007)
  • Doug Luzader, Washington D.C correspondent (since 2002)
  • Steve Nichols, Pinellas County reporter (since 1990)
  • Craig Patrick, general assignment reporter (since 2005)
  • Randy Powers SkyFOX pilot/reporter (since 1997)
  • Eric Seidel, Consumer Lawyer (since 1992)
  • Geoff Simon, financial advisor (since 1994)
  • Doug Smith, investigative reporter (also fills in for anchors)
  • Ken Suarez, Polk County reporter (since 1998)
  • Kristin Wright, general assignment reporter (since 2008)

Former Personalities

  • Sharyl Atkisson (1988-1991), reporter (now at CBS News)
  • Guy Bagli (1955-1957), sports anchor/director (deceased)
  • Bob Barnard, reporter (mid 1990s-1997) (now at WTTG)
  • Ray Blush (1967-1982), reporter, Project 13 chief, news director
  • Karen (King) Borta(?-1995), anchor/reporter (now at KTVT/KTXA)
  • Bob Breck (1971-1973), meteorologist (now at WVUE)
  • Liz Brunner (late 1980s-1994), anchor/host (now at WCVB)
  • Ann Carlon (1978-1979), sports reporter, weekend sports anchor
  • Terry Casey (1985-1989), 6/11pm news commentary
  • Rod Challenger (-1978), anchor
  • Amani Channel (Late 1990s-2006), anchor (later the Black Family Channel; hdnews,apnews)
  • Eric Chilton (1997-2003), morning meteorologist (now at WFMY)
  • Chip Collins (1965-1966), St. Petersburg anchor
  • Pat Colmenares (1975-1979), host, Pulse Plus at Noon (deceased)
  • Jack Cosgrove (1955-1958), chief photographer (retired)
  • Colin Cowherd (?-1996), sports anchor (now at ESPN Radio)
  • Kara Cox (late 1990s), traffic reporter (now news producer)
  • Kelly Craig (1985-1990), 6 & 11pm anchor (now at WTVJ)
  • Ray Dantzler (1963-1986), reporter, news director, station general manager (deceased)
  • Arch Deal (1958), general assignment reporter/anchor
  • Phil Dean (1977-1980s), anchor, reporter
  • Jim Dick (1977-1979), reporter, weekend anchor (now at WRN Radio, Madison, WI)
  • Tom Dunn (1962-1964), reporter/anchor (deceased)
  • Larry Elliston (1977-1991), general assignment reporter; Project 13 staff
  • Wayne Fariss (1955-1958), anchor, news director (retired)
  • Bob Fellows (1968-1984) general assignment, feature reporter (deceased)
  • John Ferrugia (1975-1978), anchor/reporter (now at KMGH)
  • Sol Fleischman (1957-1974), sports anchor/director (deceased)
  • Bonnie Ginzburg (1978-1981), reporter, weekend anchor (now at PBS)
  • Brian Goff (1995-2006), morning/noon reporter (retired)
  • Sara Golinveaux (1973-1976), general assignment reporter, Tallahassee bureau
  • Dayle Green, reporter, host "Black Contact" (1971-1978)
  • Ron Hailey (1979-1980), weekend sports anchor
  • Andy Hardy (1963-1996), sports anchor (deceased)
  • Don Harris (1958-1968), general assignment reporter (deceased)
  • Jack Harris (1984-1989) "Pulse PLUS!" host. (now at WFTS-TV and WFLA (AM))
  • John Hayes, (1972-1980), Tallahassee bureau chief, assignment editor (retired)
  • Ed Herbert (1957-1958), anchor, reporter
  • Jim Hill (2004-2007), reporter
  • Suzanne Huffman (1980s), education reporter
  • Bruce Hutchcraft (1968-1980) reporter, farm reports (noon) (deceased)
  • Ron Jackson (1983-1988), sports reporter, weekend sports anchor
  • Walter "Flash" Jarocki (1972-1980s) reporter/photographer, Tarpon Springs (deceased)
  • Stan Jayson (1991-2001), reporter
  • Pete Johnson (1973-1980) sports anchor/reporter
  • Bill Keneely (1980-1982), meteorologist (now at The Weather Channel)

  • Bill Kowal (1974-1978), meteorologist
  • Ken Krawley (1992-1996), investigative reporter
  • Jerry Krumbholz (1955-1960), booth news announcer
  • Jerry Lambert (1992-1995), reporter (now at WICS)
  • Deanna Lawrence, reporter/anchor (1970s-1990s) (producer, "What's Right with Tampa Bay")
  • Roy Leep (1957-1997), chief meteorologist (retired)
  • Hagit Limor, consumer reporter (late 1980s-1994) (now at WCPO)
  • Joe Loughlin (1959-1962), anchor/news director
  • Mike McCall (1988-1993), overnight meteorologist (now at WCTV)
  • Jule McGee (1967-2008), reporter, chief photographer, news operations manager,etc.
  • Nelson Medina (1963-1967), meteorologist (retired)
  • Dave Monsees, reporter (mid 1990s)
  • Bill Murphy (1994-2008), original Good Day anchor, later weekend AM anchor & feature reporter (One Tank Trips, Murphy at the Movies). (retired)
  • Carl Nichols (1969-1972), meteorologist (now at WDTN)
  • John Nicholson (1978-1981), 11pm anchor
  • Nancy Perla (2005-2007), reporter
  • Don Piccolo, sports anchor/reporter (1978-1979)
  • Crawford Rice (1958-1960), anchor/news director, (1978-79), general manager (retired)
  • Kerry Sanders (1987-1992), reporter (now at NBC News)
  • Lesley Schissell (1972-1979), Sunday Anchor, Government Reporter, Tallahassee Bureau Chief
  • Marvin Scott (1955-1968), general assignment reporter (deceased)
  • Glenn Selig (1995-2007), reporter
  • Roger Sharp (1956-1957), news anchor (deceased)
  • Scott Shuster, noon anchor (1972-1975)
  • Cy Smith (1956-1980s), reporter, editorial researcher/writer (retired)
  • Hugh Smith (1963-1991), anchor (deceased)
  • Tim Smith (1974-1980), general assignment reporter
  • Leslie Spencer, anchor (1970s-1996)
  • Greg Starddard (1987-1989, reporter, assignment editor, left for KFMB-TV San Diego
  • Bob Stone (1975-1978), sports anchor, staff announcer (deceased)
  • Stacy Strazis, "Good Day, Tampa Bay" (1994-1997)
  • Charlie Stump (1955-1957), chief meteorologist (deceased)
  • Cathy Unruh, reporter (1991-2000) (now at WEDU as a talk show host)
  • Theresa Varga (late 1980s-early 1990s), meteorologist
  • Bob Walker (1965-1980s), stringer, hard news (deceased)
  • Earl Wells (1960-1967), general assignment reporter
  • Alan Wendt, reporter (1978-1993)
  • Jim West (1978-1986), anchor/reporter, news director
  • Landis Wilkinson(1955-1956), anchor (retired)
  • Steve Wilson, investigative reporter, (now at WXYZ)
  • Jessica Yellin (2000-2002), reporter (now at CNN)
  • Tony Zappone (1965), (1976-1982), news correspondent

External links

References

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