Suncoast News Network
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2014)|
|Suncoast News Network|
|Launched||July 17, 1995|
|Owned by||LDB Media, LLC|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Broadcast area||Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties, Florida|
|Formerly called||SNN Local News (2012–2014)
SNN Local News 6 (2009–2012)
SNN News 6 (2002–2009)
Six News Now (1995–2002)
(Sarasota and Charlotte Counties)
|Channel 6 (SD)
Channel 400 (HD)
(Sarasota and Manatee Counties)
|Channel 26 (SD)
Channel 526 (HD)
The Suncoast News Network (SNN) is an American regional cable news television channel that is owned by LDB Media, LLC. The channel provides 24-hour rolling news coverage focusing primarily on the Sarasota, Florida area (including Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties). Suncoast News Network operates in conjunction with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and is headquartered in the newspaper's offices in downtown Sarasota.
The channel was launched on September 17, 1995. Over its history, the channel was branded as SNN Local News, SNN Local News 6, SNN News 6 and Six News Now, which were often used interchangeably. The channel received national attention in 2007, when a clip of chief meteorologist Justin Mosely (who worked with the channel from 2004 to 2013 and returned to SNN in March 2014) reacting frightened after a cockroach crawled up his leg during a live weather segment went viral after it was posted on various video websites including YouTube.
In November 2008, LDB Media announced that it would sell SNN News 6, and stop broadcasting at the end of December 2008. This deadline was extended after the company struck agreements with a group of investors to purchase the channel; however on January 25, 2009, one of the investors dropped out of the deal. On January 29, 2009, LDB Media announced that SNN News 6 would go dark, effective at midnight on January 29, 2009. The company would later find another investor in Phil Lombardo, CEO of the television station group Citadel Communications in Bronxville, New York. On February 26, 2009, after a four-week hiatus, SNN was back on the air, with the majority of its former on-air staff. For much of its history, the channel was exclusively carried on Comcast's systems in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties. In the summer of 2012, SNN struck a carriage deal with Verizon FiOS to add the channel; FiOS began carrying SNN in the Sarasota area at 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time on September 13, 2012.
In January 2014, Lombardo and Citadel Communications acquired a majority interest in the company. As a result, Citadel took over broadcast operations of SNN. During February 2014, the SNN studio facilities underwent a major remodeling. One month earlier on February 12, SNN debuted a new graphics package, and began incorporating the Sarasota Herald-Tribune logo on its lower third banner graphics; the weather graphics were rolled out on February 22. On March 2, the channel debuted a new logo (an "SNN" wordmark with a blue wave underneath) and rebranded as SNN: Suncoast News Network. The following day on March 3 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, SNN unveiled a new main news set and weather center (the latter of which incorporates the logo previously used under the "SNN Local News 6" brand). The station's image resembles those of Citadel stations WLNE-TV in Providence, Rhode Island and KLKN in Lincoln, Nebraska, who have become sister stations to SNN.
The channel features a mix of live and pre-recorded newscasts; although the channel produces live segments within its looped programming during breaking news events, as well as live weather segments during the morning and evening hours, with more frequent updates during severe weather events. The station occasionally broadcasts high school football games and parades in the area.
In addition to regular rolling news programming, SNN also produces several locally produced programs (which periodically interrupts newscasts in certain timeslots) including the health news program Local Doctors On Call (hosted by Candice McElyea), the real estate program Get Real On Real Estate (airing Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.), the public affairs program Annete (in which community leaders discuss their impacts around Sarasota), the cooking and food discussion program Chef Rolf (hosted by Chef Rolf), the tourism-based talk show Suncoast FYI (hosted by Wendy Mann Resnick), the sports highlight program Friday Football Fever (which airs Fridays at 11:15 p.m. during the high school football season), the paid automotive program Palm Auto Mall (airing Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:00 a.m) and the Sunday morning religious program Diocese of Venice.
The channel was the first television news operation to convert to an all digital-disk based non-linear editing system through Avid. SNN was one of the first news operations to have a combined print and broadcast newsroom, collaborating with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on news content. Since 2002, SNN has maintained a content sharing agreement with Tampa-based NBC affiliate WFLA-TV (channel 8) and NBC News, which allows SNN to use stories from WFLA, NBC News and NBC-affiliated stations (that agreement replaced an earlier deal between the channel, Fox owned-and-operated station WTVT (channel 13), and the now-defunct CONUS Communications), and also allowed for cooperation between the Herald-Tribune and the Tampa Tribune, prior to Media General's sale of that paper to World Media Holdings in 2012.
The channel also provides national and international news content from CNN Newsource, and weather forecasts supplied by Accuweather and The Weather Channel. The channel also utilizes radar data from the National Weather Service's Tampa radar site. SNN also operates several weather and traffic cameras across the Suncoast region; in April 2014, SNN installed a camera atop One Sarasota Tower, under a brand licensing deal with the Palm Auto Mall.
Current on-air staff
- Grant Boxleitner - weekday mornings and afternoons; also general assignment and "Feel Good Friday" feature reporter
- John Hill - weekend mornings and evenings; also reporter
- Kathy Leon - weekday mornings (formerly weekday morning weather anchor from 2004 to 2011)
- Mike Stevens - weekday evenings and overnight loop
- Amber Stidham - weekday evenings and overnight loop; also reporter
- SNN Weather First
- Justin Mosely (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist, weekday evenings and overnight loop
- Lauren Kusik - meteorologist; weekends, also "Market Commentary" feature reporter
- Cassie Nall - meteorologist; weekday mornings and afternoons
- Home Team Sports
- Adam Shadoff - sports director; weekday evenings, also host of Friday Football Fever
- John Andrews - general assignment reporter
- Rick De Furia - local film reporter (originally anchor from 1996 to 2003)
- Kelsey Kern - general assignment reporter
- Chrissy McLarty - general assignment reporter
- Melissa Warren - general assignment reporter
- John Woodruff - general assignment reporter
- Bill Church - commentator ("This is My Sarasota"); also Herald-Tribune executive editor
- Lloyd Dunkelberger - Herald-Tribune Capital bureau chief
- Jay Handelman - Herald-Tribune theater critic
- Jeff LaBelle - financial correspondent ("Market Wrap Up")
- Brian Ries - entertainment contributor; also editor of TicketSarasota.com
- Bay News 9 - a similar 24-hour regional cable news channel for the Tampa Bay Area operated by Bright House Networks
- News 13 - a similar 24-hour regional cable news channel for the Orlando area operated by Bright House Networks
- Pollick, Michael. "SNN News 6 will go dark, awaiting deal". HeraldTribune.com. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- Hielscher, John (25 February 2009). "SNN set to return to the air Thursday". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "Lombardo acquires majority stake in SNN". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- SNN page on Sarasota Herald-Tribune site
- SNN Facebook page
- SNN Twitter page
- SNN YouTube page
- Market Profile