Bay News 9

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Bay News 9
Launched September 24, 1997 (1997-09-24)
Owned by Bright House Networks
(Advance Publications Inc.)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
(HD feed downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTVs)
Slogan News. Weather. Now.
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
Headquarters St. Petersburg, Florida
Sister channel(s) News 13
Bright House Networks
(Tampa Bay)
Channel 9 (SD)
Channel 1009 (HD)
Channel 1209 (HD)
Bright House Networks (Orlando) Channel 1209 (HD)

Bay News 9 is an American cable news television channel that is owned by Bright House Networks. The channel provides 24-hour rolling news coverage focused primarily on the Tampa Bay Area. The channel, which is exclusive to Bright House Networks systems, also carries some special programming, including the weekly political discussion program Political Connections. Bay News 9 is carried on Bright House Networks channel 9 throughout the Tampa Bay region.


The channel was launched on September 24, 1997. The channel was founded by Time Warner Cable, which held cable television franchise rights in the Central Florida area at the time; Bright House Networks (for which Time Warner Cable handles the negotiation of carriage contracts and certain other services) assumed franchise rights in the area shortly afterward. Bright House Networks appointed Elliott Wiser, who had previously worked in Seattle prior to joining the company, as its vice president of local programming to help create the channel (his drawing of the clock graphic originally used by the channel to illustrate Bay News 9's news wheel format hangs on the wall of the hallway at the channel's headquarters). Bay News 9 originally operated from studio facilites in Pinellas Park.

Over the next few years, Wiser would develop the station's website and create several spin-off services including the 24-hour weather channel Bay News 9 Weather Now (now Bright House Networks Travel Weather Now), Spanish language news channel Bay News 9 en Español (now InfoMás), and the video on demand services Tampa Bay On Demand and Bay News 9 On Demand (Wiser also created the regional sports network Catch 47; now Bright House Sports Network). The logo that the channel has used since its launch, which was designed by Atlanta-based graphics designer John Christopher Burns, was later adapted by Albany, New York-based sister cable channel Capital News 9 when it launched in 2002 (and used until its rebrand as YNN Capital Region in March 2010) and again by Orlando-based News 13 in 2013. In 2002, Bay News 9 became the first television station in the area to utilize VIPIR radar technology for its weather segments.

In June 2005, the channel moved to a larger facility at the Carillon Office Complex in St. Petersburg, merging its operations with Bright House Networks' main offices. The facility includes four studios for programming production, a web center and a three rooms for master control operations (one large room and two smaller production control rooms). The newsroom also features large monitors within the newsroom that display breaking news headlines from various sources simultaneously (similar to the monitors used on the CNN program The Situation Room), and a large faux balcony wall that features images of the Tampa area. The transition to the new facility did not result in disruptions in programming, due to the technologt within the studio. The channel broadcast its final newscasts from the Pinellas Park studio on the morning of June 27, 2005, with newscast production being moved to the St. Petersburg facility at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time that afternoon.

On March 1, 2006, the channel opened a news bureau in Tallahassee at the studios of PBS member station WFSU-TV, which is shared with sister channel News 13, to provide coverage of state government issues.[1] In April 2006, Bay News 9 received a Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award for "channel automation" for its streamlined newscasts and the technology used in their production and broadcast.[2][3] In October 2007, Bay News 9 became the first television news outlet in Florida and one of fewer than 10 television news outlets in the United States to employ dual-polarization radar technology (approximately five years before the National Weather Service began upgrading its network of 125 weather radar sites to use the technology), which emits horizontal and vertical pulses that provide a better determination of falling precipitation, the size of raindrops or hail, or other objects such as debris.[4]

On May 19, 2008, former CNN executive Terry Dolan was appointed as the channel's general manager,[5] remaining with the channel until his departure in 2010 (his replacement, Rod Gramer, who became general manager in July 2011,[6] was fired alongside Central Florida News 13 general manager Robin Smythe in January 2013). On January 5, 2009, Bay News 9 unveiled an upgraded Doppler radar system called Klystron 9 (created by Huntsville, Alabama-based Baron Services), which is capable of precisely scanning weather features in greater detail than other conventional Doppler radar systems. The "Klystron 9" system (which was installed in November 2001) was the first to utilize a combination of a dual-polarimetry radar, Klystron tube, pulse compression technology and a transmitter operating at 1.25 megawatts – effectively making the system the most powerful television radar in the world. This technology provides Bay News 9 forecasts the ability to see storms not visible to other radars and provide detailed vertical scans within storms, determine wind direction over a wide distance (up to 150 miles from the radar site, as opposed to between 50 and 75 miles with conventional radars) as well as determining the size and shape of raindrops and distinguishing between liquid and frozen precipitation.[7]

For many years, Bay News 9 was carried on channel 6 on Bright House's Pasco County system; this was because the provider slotted CBS affiliate WTSP on channel 9 in that area, in order to avoid signal interference with that station's analog signal on VHF channel 10 (this no longer was an issue following the June 2009 digital television transition, when WTSP converted to digital-exclusive broadcasts). On August 7, 2013, Bright House relocated Bay News 9 to channel 9 in Pasco County, giving the channel a uniform placement on all of the provider's Tampa Bay area systems.

News operation[edit]

Bay News 9 maintains content partnerships with several local radio stations as well as various Bay Area newspapers including the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Bay Business Journal, the Citrus County Chronicle, The Bradenton Herald and Lakeland-based The Ledger. The channel also operates news bureaus in Tampa, Bradenton, New Port Richey and Spring Hill; as well as at the offices of the Citrus County Chronicle in Crystal River and the The Ledger in Lakeland. The channel also produces feature reports for Orlando-based sister channel News 13 (Bright House began carrying that channel in the Tampa market on digital channel 1213 in December 2010, with Bay News 9 conversely being added to the provider's Central Florida systems on digital channel 1209[8]).

In 1999, Bay News 9 introduced "Health Team 9," a team of practicing doctors (Steven Seltzer, Robert DiMasi, Jacentha Buggs and Linda McClintock) and a licensed psychologist (Steve O'Brien) employed by the channel to serve as experts reporting on a variety of medical issues. The channel ran a regular medical news segment during the morning newscast called "Health Team 9 Health Watch", as well as a segment during the primetime newscast called "Health Team 9 Medical Beat" (which was conducted by the anchor of that night's broadcast). In June 2011, the "Medical Beat" segment was replaced with "Priority Health," in which Dr. Randy Shuck answers health questions sent in by viewers via email; the "Health Watch" segment was also replaced with "Health Headlines," focusing on the day's medical news headlines. Dr. Steve O'Brien remains with Bay News 9 as its mental health expert.

as of 2014, three members of the channel's original on-air staff remain with Bay News 9 – anchor Al Ruechel (who formerly served as a news anchor at WTSP), and meteorologists Mike Clay and Alan Winfield (the latter of whom stepped down as chief meteorologist in 2006 to join a religious ministry, although he continues to appear on the channel as a tropical weather expert during its hurricane coverage).


The channel operates on a news "wheel" format, offering blocks of news segments, weather forecasts and feature reports in regular intervals; regular weather segments are broadcast in 10-minute intervals "on the nines," with more frequent updates during severe weather events and wall-to-wall coverage whenever hurricanes or tropical storms affect the channel's service area. Its programming is presented live, although a digital video "jukebox" is used to recycle segments (except for those aired during the channel's rolling early news block Your Morning News) for broadcast at other times and to provide loops of newscasts originally broadcast live in certain timeslots (particularly during the overnight hours). Producers update the wheel throughout the day, inserting new material as stories are filed and updated information becomes available; coverage of breaking news events are also inserted as warranted.

In March 2008, Bay News 9 revamped its news cycle, eliminating the "Beyond the Bay" segment at 42 minutes past the hour and replacing it with the Extra segment that aired at 23 minutes past the hour, which was in turn replaced by local news segments. In recent years, traffic segments on weekends have also been eliminated to allow for additional local news coverage. The format returns to the "original" news cycle, with "Extra" segments appearing at 23 and 53 minutes past the hour during the primetime and overnight newscasts. Bay News 9 also is an affiliate of the national and international video news service CNN Newsource.

In addition, Bay News 9 produces the half-hour political discussion program Political Connections (airing Sundays at 11:00 a.m., with an encore at 8:00 p.m.); the program, which is currently hosted by weekday afternoon anchor Al Ruechel and Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith, debuted in 2005 as part of a partnership between Bay News 9 and the Tampa Bay Times.

Upon the channel's launch, Bay News 9 began producing the nightly half-hour sports highlight program Toyota Sports Connection (it originally aired at 10:30 p.m., before moving to 11:00 p.m. in 2001), which focused mainly on local sports as well as major national sports headlines. It was originally hosted by former Tampa Bay Buccaneer defensive lineman David Logan until his death in 1999, with Rock Riley assuming hosting duties thereafter (the channel has since begun awarding a scholarship to high school athletes named in Logan's honor, The David Logan Scholarship). The program was moved to Bright House Sports Network in 2010, retaining its 11:00 p.m. timeslot (the regional sports network repeats the program throughout the following day after the initial broadcast).



  • Your Morning News - This morning news program, which debuted in 2000, airs weekdays from 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. and weekends from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. In June 2008, Bay News 9 increased the frequency of its traffic updates to six times an hour (from the channel's inception, traffic segments were broadcast four times hourly), with updates being aired after weather segments at the top and bottom of the hour, in addition to updates at 9, 19, 39 and 49 minutes past the hour.
  • Your Evening News - This program – which airs nightly from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. – is Bay News 9's early evening news program; it debuted in 2000 to provide updates on news headlines of the day, as well as weather forecasts and sports news.


  • The 7:00 News - Bay News 9 launched The 7:00 News in 2003; the primetime newscast provided information on breaking news and the day's top stories, and included a national news segment called "The Nightly News Digest". This separate newscast has since been consolidated into Your Evening News.
  • The 10:00 News - The 10:00 News debuted in 2000 as part of a revamp of the channel's primetime lineup, which lasted until 2003. The hour-long newscast was originally preceded by another hour-long news program, 9 at Nine, which was cancelled in 2002.


Bay News 9 also provides feature segments geared towards an array of lifestyle topics, known as "Extras." The segments currently airing on the channel include the following:

  • Priority Health: Health Issues - reported by Dr. Randy Shuck; airs weekdays between 5:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., at 42 minutes past the hour.
  • Getting There - a transportation report highlighting major roadway projects and other traffic-related issues in the Tampa Bay area; airs Wednesdays. A related segment, Extra on Getting There, which is a component to "Extra on Special Assignment", also mainly focuses on transportation-related issues; it airs Wednesday evenings at :23 minutes past the hour.
  • Technology and You - a technology report highlighting the latest in technologies that can make a difference in today's world, and sometimes features profiles of local inventors and companies; airs Sundays.
  • 9's Everyday Heroes - a profile segment, by Manatee County newsroom reporter Bill Murphy, interviewing people making a difference in the community; airs Monday mornings and afternoons at 53 minutes past the hour
  • Extra on the Web - a segment featuring website profiles/reviews, reported by Al Ruechel; airs Sunday afternoons at 23 minutes past the hour.
  • The Chef's Kitchen - a food segment featuring delectable cuisines and recipes, hosted by Virginia Johnson; airs Wednesday mornings at 53 minutes past the hour.
  • Mrs. Fixit - a syndicated feature segment hosted by Terri McGraw, featuring home improvement tips; airs Saturday and Sunday evenings at :53 minutes past the hour.
  • Extra on the Town - a preview of the weekend's events around the Tampa area, reported by Tampa Bay On Demand reporter Virginia Johnson; airs Tuesday and Friday mornings at 53 minutes past the hour.
  • Florida on a Tankful - a travel segment featuring reviews of various places of interest within the state of Florida, reported by Tampa Bay On Demand reporter Scott Fais; airs Friday evenings at 23 minutes past the hour and Sunday mornings at 53 minutes past the hour, with encores on Thursday and Saturday mornings at 53 minutes past the hour.

Community service[edit]

Bay News 9 maintains a program, "Project Weather," which tours hurricane expos and schools in Tampa Bay area communities providing weather safety information to area students; the channel distributed science kits to all 6th grade public school teachers in the channel's seven-county viewing area and "Project Weather Activity Books" for preschool and elementary school-aged children. The channel also has an interactive exhibit called "WeatherQuest" at the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa, a news and weather exhibit at the Explorations V Children's Museum in Lakeland and a "Project Weather Classroom" at the Science Center in Pinellas County.

Channel presentation[edit]


  • "Your News All The Time" (1997–2002)
  • "Your News Source" (2002–2013)
  • "News, Weather, Now" (2013–present)

News team[edit]

Current on-air staff[edit]

  • Veronica Cintron - weekday evenings and overnights (5:00 p.m.-5:00 a.m.)
  • Rick Elmhorst - weekend evenings and overnights (5:00 p.m.- 5:00 a.m) ; also Polk County reporter
  • Holly Gregory - weekend mornings and afternoons (5:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.) also Pinellas County reporter
  • Anne Imanuel - web anchor seen weekday evenings
  • Erica Riggins - weekday mornings (5:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.)
  • Al Ruechel - weekday afternoons (12:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.) also host of "Political Connections"
Weather Experts[9]
  • Mike Clay (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weekday afternoons
  • Diane Kacmarik (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend evenings
  • Josh Linker (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings and afternoons
  • Juli Marquez (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings
  • Brian McClure (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday evenings
  • Alan Winfield (AMS Seal of Approval) - hurricane expert (former chief meteorologist)
  • Chuck Henson - traffic reporter; weekday mornings
+ Indicates reporter also seen on sister channel News 13
  • Dalia Dangerfield - Pinellas County reporter
  • RaeChelle Davis - Pinellas County reporter
  • Laurie Davison - Hillsborough County reporter
  • Melissa Eichman - Pinellas County reporter
  • Cheryl Glassford - Polk County reporter
  • Chuck Henson - Hillsborough County reporter
  • Chris Hopper - Pinellas County reporter
  • Ashley Jeffery - Hillsborough County reporter
  • + Virginia Johnson - feature reporter ("On The Town")
  • + Troy Kinsey - political reporter
  • Jason Lanning - Pinellas County reporter
  • Erin Maloney - Hillsborough County reporter
  • Sally Mamdooh - Pasco County reporter
  • Cait McVey - Pasco County reporter
  • + Angie Moreschi - consumer reporter ("Consumer Wise")
  • Paul Mueller - Pinellas County reporter
  • Bill Murphy - Manatee County reporter
  • Randi Nissenbaum - Manatee County reporter
  • Trevor Pettiford - Pinellas County reporter
  • Josh Rojas - Pinellas County reporter
  • + Dr. Randy Shuck - health expert
  • Summer Smith - Manatee County reporter; also fill-in anchor
  • Saundra Weathers - Polk County reporter
  • Ferdinand Zogbaum - Hernando/Citrus County reporter
Political Connections[10]
  • Al Ruechel - co-host
  • Ana Cruz - Democratic political analyst; also political consultant
  • Christopher Ingram - Republican political analyst; also political consultant and publisher of Irreverent View
  • Troy Kinsey - reporter
  • Adam Smith - contributor; also political editor for the Tampa Bay Times

Affiliated channels[edit]

Bay News 9 HD[edit]

Bay News 9 HD is a high definition simulcast feed of Bay News 9 that broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format. The HD feed is carried on Bright House digital channels 1009 and 1209; it was launched in the spring of 2006, which resulted in the debut of an extensive graphical overhaul to Bay News 9. Newscasts airing on the feed were not originally produced in HD, airing instead in the 480i format (with stylized pillarboxing) and upconverted to 1080i. On October 20, 2011, Bay News 9 and sister network InfoMás began broadcasting their news programming in high definition, with programming being upgraded to the 16:9 aspect ratio and the introduction of a revised graphics package.[11]


Main article: InfoMás

InfoMás is a Spanish language regional news channel that is operated through a partnership between Bay News 9 and Orlando-based sister network News 13, it is carried on Bright House digital channel 900. The service originated as a separate 24-hour Spanish news channel focused solely on the Tampa Bay area called Bay News 9 en Español, which launched in March 2002. The channel was the first 24-hour Spanish language regional news channel in the United States; in addition to providing rolling news coverage, the channel also carried exclusive stories tailored to Tampa's Hispanic and Latin American population.[3] Originally carried on digital channel 139, Bay News 9 en Español was later moved to digital channel 900. In 2010, the channel began Spanish language game telecasts from the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins Major League Baseball, and Orlando Magic NBA franchises.

On March 11, 2011, Bright House Networks announced that it would merge Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13's respective Spanish-language news channels into a single regional channel, InfoMás.[12] The regional network was launched on July 12, 2011.[13]

Bright House Networks Travel Weather Now[edit]

Bright House Networks Travel Weather Now is a 24-hour weather service, which broadcasts on Bright House digital channel 109. The channel was launched in 1999 as Bay News 9 Weather Now, and originally provided local forecasts 24 hours a day. In 2004, the channel was relaunched as Bay News 9 Travel Weather Now, reformatted as a 24-hour weather network geared primarily towards business travelers. In October 2009, Bright House Networks revised the channel's name to Bright House Networks Travel Weather Now, with on-air advertisements acknowledging that is content is provided by Bay News 9.

Tampa Bay on Demand / Bay News 9 on Demand[edit]

Tampa Bay on Demand is a video on demand service which offers local entertainment programming, and is carried on Bright House digital channel 340. It features segments conducted by Bay News 9 reporter Virginia Johnson, which focuses on people and places within the Tampa Bay entertainment scene, as well as cooking segments (hosted by Roy DeJesus), restaurant and wine reviews, celebrity interviews, and holiday features. The wine review program, Vino Vino, was nominated for a Cable FAX Award (an awards ceremony presented by industry trade publication Cable FAX) for "Best Video on Demand Program" in August 2012.

Bay News 9 also operates a news-focused VOD service Bay News 9 on Demand, which features long-form news content such as press conferences.

In popular culture[edit]


The 2011 film Dolphin Tale and its 2014 sequel Dolphin Tale 2 featured scenes filmed at Bay News 9's St. Petersburg studio facility. Bay News 9 also operates a webcam in which visitors to the channel's website can watch Winter, the real-life dolphin whose rescue inspired the first film, from her home at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.[14][15]

See also[edit]

  • News 13 - a similar 24-hour regional cable news channel for the Orlando area operated by Bright House Networks


  1. ^ "Bay News 9 opening Tallahassee bureau". Tampa Bay Business Journal. February 27, 2006. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ Tampa Bay News 9 Wins 2006 Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award With OmniBus Automation
  3. ^ Bay News 9 shifts to automated server-based facility
  4. ^ Bouffard, Kevin (October 31, 2007). "Bay News 9 First in Florida With Latest Doppler Weather Radar". The Ledger. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  5. ^ [1] CNN Veteran Terry Dolan joins Bay News 9
  6. ^ [2] Bay News 9 Names Veteran Newsman As New General Manager
  7. ^ Krueger, Curtis (January 3, 2009). "Bay News 9's new radar to paint clearer picture around bay". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  8. ^ Per Zap2it, zip code 32809.
  9. ^ a b c d Our People
  10. ^ Political Connections
  11. ^ "Bay News 9 & InfoMás go high-def…". FloridaNewsCenter. October 20, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Bright House Networks to merge Tampa Bay and Orlando Spanish language newschannels into InfoMás". St. Petersburg Times. March 11, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Bright House Networks to launch super regional Spanish network". Bay News 9. March 9, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Winter the Dolphin Goes Hollywood". Bay News 9. 24 December 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Bay News 9 newsroom becomes backdrop for 'Dolphin Tale'". Bay News 9. 24 September 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 

Additional references[edit]

External links[edit]