|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
|St. Petersburg-Tampa, Florida|
|City of license||St. Petersburg, Florida|
|Slogan||Tampa Bay's News Leader|
|Channels||Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
10.2 10 Weather Now
|Translators||4 (VHF) St. Petersburg|
(Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)
|Founded||July 18, 1965|
|Call letters' meaning||Tampa/St. Petersburg|
|Former callsigns||WLCY-TV (1965–1978)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
10 (VHF, 1965–2009)
Digital: 24 (UHF)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1965)
|Transmitter power||69 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WTSP channel 10 is a CBS-affiliated affiliated television station located in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States and also serves the city of Tampa. The station's owned by the Gannett Company. WTSP's studios are located in St. Petersburg (one of two full-powered Tampa Bay stations with studios located in St. Petersburg, instead of Tampa, along with nearby WTOG and one of three full-powered stations based in Pinellas County, counting WCLF) and its transmitter is located in Riverview.
- 1 History
- 2 Digital television
- 3 News operation
- 4 Notes and references
- 5 External links
The station began broadcasting on July 18, 1965 as WLCY-TV after a lengthy court battle that lasted nearly ten years between five prospective owners seeking the channel 10 license, including the St. Petersburg Times. It was owned by Rahall Communications, along with WLCY radio (AM 1380, now WWMI; and FM 94.9, now WWRM). Until 1981, it was licensed to Largo, north of St. Petersburg, but its studios have always been based in St. Petersburg. The station's first studio facilities were located at 2426 Central Avenue. Its current studios on Gandy Boulevard, originally known as the "Rahall Color Communications Center" were dedicated on October 15, 1968. Studio broadcasts were fully in color by 1966, but field reports during the station's newscasts remained in black and white until 1972.
The station was affiliated with ABC, but spent its first month-and-a-half of operation as an independent station, as previous ABC affiliate WSUN-TV (channel 38; the frequency is now occupied by WTTA) went to court to keep the affiliation. The city of St. Petersburg, owners of WSUN-TV, had been one of the applicants for the channel 10 license, having jumped in out of fear of losing its ABC affiliation. WLCY ultimately won and formally switched to ABC in a special ceremony on September 1, 1965. As a condition for being placed on VHF channel 10 instead of a UHF placement, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required the station to produce 20 hours of public service programming each week.
The station aired several local children's programs as Submarine 10, Romper Room with June Hurley, 10 Ultimate and This Side Up, and local talk shows such as Russ Byrd's Morning Show, The John Eastman Show, The Liz Richards Show and Murphy in the Morning. From 1966 to 1967, the station produced 10 á Go Go, a teenage dance show hosted by Roy Nilson, a disc jockey on WLCY-AM. Another early local program was a morning exercise show, The Fran Carlton Show. The most popular program on channel 10 during that era was the syndicated The Lawrence Welk Show. In the mid-1970s, the station aired Bowling for Dollars with host Jim Bradley.
In 1971, WXLT (now WWSB, channel 40) signed on from Sarasota to provide ABC network programming since WLCY's signal could not come in well in most of Sarasota County. WLCY's transmitter was located in Holiday, Florida (and would remain there until 2011). Tampa Bay residents had to have a special VHF antenna that faced away from Riverview in order to view WLCY (this setup was called the "Tampa Bay Special"). Ratings for the station during the early to mid-1970s were dismal, however, compared to longtime Bay Area stations WTVT and WFLA-TV and, as a result, the station nearly lost its ABC affiliation. Part of the problem was its transmitter location in the southwestern corner of Pasco County (all of other stations serving the Tampa area operated their transmitters in Riverview, in Hillsborough County). It also operated at a lower power than the other Tampa stations.
In 1977, WLCY-TV was purchased by Dallas, Texas-based Gulf United Broadcasting. New owner Alan Henry (of WINS New York fame), general manager Larry Clamage, and news director George "Bud" Faulder began to turn the station around, changing the call letters to WTSP-TV on September 12, 1978, and hiring several new on-air staff members who changed the face of the station.
WTSP is also a station of firsts: in October 1979, the station acquired "Sky 10", Tampa Bay's first television news helicopter. This stunned the local news community and showed that channel 10 was serious about local news coverage. It was the only local news helicopter to broadcast the aftermath of the infamous Skyway Bridge disaster on live television in May 1980. Another technological advance was Tampa Bay's first satellite news truck, which it began using in 1984, called "Star 10" that beamed signals from far away locations to WTSP's Gandy Boulevard studios. WTSP also acquired Tampa Bay's first Doppler weather radar called "StormSeeker" in 1980, was one of the first television stations in the country to use a computer in weather forecasting called "WeatherEye" in 1979 and was the first station in the market with a 7-day forecast in 1992. The station pioneered the use of satellite technology among local television stations in the United States, deploying its own satellite dish in 1979.
In 1979, the station launched an aggressive marketing campaign, and in April of that year, the station built a taller transmission tower, improving the station's broadcast signal. By 1982, WTSP had passed WFLA (channel 8) in the evening news ratings and did so until the later part of the decade. WTSP has won many prestigious awards, including the George Foster Peabody award in 1983. Taft Broadcasting purchased the station along with four other Gulf properties in 1985. Then, in 1988, Taft sold its independent stations and Fox affiliates to TVX Broadcast Group, while Taft's remaining network affiliate properties, including WTSP, became part of the restructured Great American Broadcasting (which became known as Citicasters by 1995).
In 1994, Scripps Howard Broadcasting arranged for several of its stations (including WFTS-TV (channel 28), which was about to lose its Fox affiliation to then-CBS affiliate WTVT (channel 13) due to a corporate deal between New World Communications, WTVT's owner at the time, and Fox) to affiliate with ABC. As a result, WTSP lost its ABC affiliation, and gained the CBS affiliation from WTVT, in a three-way affiliation switch that caused much viewer confusion. The change to CBS occurred on December 12, 1994, and resulted in the station moving from third to second place in the local news ratings, although a later resurgent WTVT and competition from WFTS's upstart news department would make second place a toss-up for the rest of the 1990s. WFLA was the market leader, until dipping to second after the 2009 premiere of the 10 p.m. The Jay Leno Show.
Citicasters (which held on to WTSP and WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio after it sold its other television stations to New World, whose station properties were later acquired by Fox Television Stations in 1997) merged with Jacor in September 1996. Three months later, in December 1996, the Gannett Company acquired WTSP in a swap deal, selling six of its radio stations – WDAE and WUSA-FM (now WMTX) in Tampa, KIIS AM (now KTLK) and KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, and KSDO AM and KSDO-FM (now KLQV) in San Diego – to Jacor in return. In the spring of 1999, WTSP debuted a new Doppler weather radar system branded as "Double Doppler". The station ceased using the radar located in northern Pinellas in 2013. The remaining radar is located at the station's transmitter site in Riverview.
On October 9, 2008, WTSP rebranded itself yet again, from "Tampa Bay's 10" to "10 Connects" (with "10 Connects Network" being used alternatively). The station's "10 Connects" logo was similar to the previous one minus the wave, along with a small notch in the oval portion of the logo for the "Connects" text. This logo was nicknamed "Pacman" for its resemblance to the video game character.
The station has since rebranded itself 10News.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|10.1||1080i||16:9||WTSP-HD||Main WTSP programming / CBS|
|10.2||480i||4:3||WTSP SD||10 Weather Now|
WTSP shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 10, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station had been broadcasting its pre-transition digital signal over UHF channel 24, but returned to channel 10 for its post-transition operations. Its previous digital frequency, channel 24, is now occupied by WWSB.
On February 6, 2010, WTSP doubled its transmitter's effective radiated power from 35 kW to 78 kW to help with reception issues that plagued the station's VHF digital signal. At the time, the station's transmitter tower was still segregated farther north in Holiday due to bygone analog spacing requirements. However, even after the increase in power the reception problems persisted for area viewers which aim their antennas toward the majority of transmitters for the Tampa market located 35 miles south in Riverview.
On January 7, 2011, WTSP filed an application with the FCC to move its transmitter from Holiday toward the south to Riverview, finally joining other Tampa stations; however, while WTSP remains short-spaced with WPLG, it will give more signal spacing for its Jacksonville sister station WJXX; both WPLG and WJXX also operate their post-conversion digital signals on channel 10. The FCC granted WTSP a construction permit on January 26. The move was completed on October 1, 2011.
Northern portions of the viewing area lost the station's signal after the move to Riverview; in response to this, the station received a construction permit for a digital fill-in translator on channel 4. While the fill-in is licensed to St. Petersburg, the translator will primarily serve northern Citrus County, from a transmitter located near the town of Hernando.
WTSP presently broadcasts 29 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays, three hours on Saturdays and one hour on Sundays). Channel 10's on-air staff during its early years included Dick Crippen, who originally presented weather and then sports (and had also hosted a children's show on the station, Space Station 10); Marshall Cleaver, Al Stockmeyer, Art Johnson, who served as news anchors; and Karol Kelly as a weather anchor. Cleaver was the original news anchor for much of the 1960s and early 1970s, when the station's newscasts were called NewsNight. In 1975, former WFLA-TV anchor Arch Deal became the news director and co-anchor with Marshall Cleaver for Eyewitness News. Cleaver was removed in 1977, and Deal continued to anchor until channel 10's newscasts were rebranded as Action NewsCenter, a format similar to Indianapolis station WTHR's newscasts at the time, with former WTVT anchors Rod Challenger and Gary Rebstock along with Rick Moore. WLCY broadcast the first 5:30 p.m. newscast in the Tampa Bay area during the late 1970s up until September 15, 1980, when the newscast was moved to 6 p.m. Beginning in 1979, Don Harrison (previously from KMSP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul), Wally Kinnan and Dick Crippen became the new anchors of channel 10's evening newscasts. Ratings surged, making the Tampa Bay market more competitive. In June 1979, Channel 10 acquired the original sunset logo (which was later duplicated by its sister station KTSP in Phoenix, Arizona) along with the "Action News" format.
In late 1982, news anchor Don Harrison left WTSP to become an anchor at upstart cable channel CNN2 (now HLN). John Wilson and Liz Ayers replaced Harrison as anchor. On January 9, 1983, Sheryl Browne, from WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio joined Wilson at the anchor desk on Action News, rounding out the station's main anchor team. Longtime WTSP chief meteorologist Dick Fletcher joined the station in March 1980 and became famous for his forecasting during Hurricane Elena in 1985. Award-winning reporter Mike Deeson, legendary sports anchor Ken Broo and feature reporter Bill Campbell, famous for his "Campbell's Corner" segments, bolstered the station in the 1980s. WTSP was the second television station in the Bay Area to launch an hour-long 6 p.m. newscast in 1986. Rival WTVT had been the first to do so many years earlier and WTSP attempted it in an effort to pass WTVT to the top of the local news ratings; however, the effort only lasted until 1987.
On June 4, 1989, the newscasts were rebranded from Action News to NewsCenter 10 and a 5 p.m. newscast made its debut. In January 1998, Reginald Roundtree replaced Pat Minarcin as the lead male anchor of WTSP's newscasts (by then, known as 10 News); Minarcin later sued the station for age discrimination. On October 14, 2002, the station launched a new news format and image; a new, state-of-the-art digital newsroom was also constructed for WTSP's news staff. In 2005, the station debuted "Vortex", a powerful new forecasting tool. On January 14, 2008, WTSP became the third station in the Tampa Bay area (behind rivals WFTS-TV and WFLA-TV) to begin broadcast its local newscasts in high definition. Along with the new HD format came a brand-new news set (designed by Jack Morton Design/PDG), graphics, and music package. In September 2008, Chris Suchan replaced morning meteorologist Anna Allen, who had been at the station since 2004. Soon after, Tammie Souza was named chief meteorologist, taking longtime chief meteorologist Dick Fletcher's place after he died from a stroke in February. On October 9, 2008, WTSP began using Gannett's then-new standardized news music (composed by Rampage Music New York) and graphics package (designed by Gannett Graphics Group).
On April 1, 2009, WTSP fired longtime anchor Marty Matthews (who at the time of her firing, was the anchor of WTSP's 4 p.m. newscast and was a feature reporter for the station's "Wednesday's Child" child adoption segment) as a result of budget cuts imposed by Gannett. Matthews' termination was controversial because the station informed her of her termination by leaving a manila envelope on Matthews' doorstep. Matthews' layoff from WTSP came after the controversial 2008 terminations of weekend anchor Jennifer Howe, weekend meteorologist Randy Rauch and morning meteorologist Anna Allen. The 4 p.m. newscast was later canceled, and Matthews' former co-anchor Dave Wirth became the station's lead sports anchor. Wirth had been a sports anchor for the station for 20 years, until moving to the news desk in 2004.
WTSP made big gains at 11 p.m. during the May 2009 sweeps period, edging out WFLA for first place. In June 2009, WTSP entered into a Local News Service agreement, in which WTSP, Fox-owned WTVT (channel 13) and Scripps-owned WFTS (channel 28) share news video for use in their own reports. All other news operations at the three stations remained unchanged. As part of this new arrangement, WTSP officially grounded "Sky 10" on August 1, 2009; with WTSP, WTVT and WFTS also sharing a single news helicopter ("Action Air One") to cover news events.
On July 26, 2010, the station's newscasts reverted to the 10 News branding, along with the resurrection of the station's previous logo. The about-face was the result of WTSP switching to a more-traditional news formula, as well as the fact that the "10 Connects" moniker was not understood by many viewers. In August 2010, veteran former WFLA-TV anchor Bill Ratliff joined the station as a political analyst. In February 2011, radio talk show host Bubba the Love Sponge began a nightly editorial segment, Bring it on Bubba, on WTSP's 11 p.m. newscast. On September 12, 2011, WTSP debuted a half-hour news program at 9 a.m. as an extension of the station's existing weekday morning newscast, using the anchors and meteorologist of the earlier 5-7 a.m. news block.
In December 2012, WTSP became one of the first Gannett stations to implement a new standard graphics package designed by The Mill, and new music composed by Gari Media Group. The new graphics were designed to be more cleaner than the previous look (which designers felt was too busy and cluttered), and uses a horizontal design influenced by the web and mobile app design. The new look also utilizes color-coded tabs to represent certain categories of news, using the same colors used by Gannett's newspaper USA Today.
- NewsNight (1965–1970)
- Eyewitness News (1970–1977)
- Action NewsCenter (1977)
- Action 10 News (1977–1979)
- Action News (1979–1989)
- NewsCenter 10 (1989–1992)
- 10 News (1992–2002 and 2010–present)
- Tampa Bay's 10 News (2002–2008)
- 10 Connects News (2008–2010)
- The Morning Show on 10 News - 5:00-7:00 a.m.
- 10 News at Noon - 12:00-12:30 p.m.
- 10 News at 5:00 - 5:00-5:30 p.m.
- 10 News at 5:30 - 5:30-6:00 p.m.
- 10 News at 6:00 - 6:00-6:30 p.m.
- 10 News at 11:00 - 11:00-11:35 p.m.
- The Morning Show on 10 News - 6:00-8:00 a.m.
- 10 News at 6:00 - 6:00-6:30 p.m.
- 10 News at 11:00 - 11:00-11:35 p.m.
- 10 News at 6:30 - 6:30-7:00 p.m.
- 10 News at 11:00 - 11:00-11:35 p.m.
Current on-air staff
- Tammie Fields - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 6:30 and weekends at 11:00 p.m.; also reporter
- Joe Gumm - weekday mornings on The Morning Show (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Allison Kropff - weekday mornings on The Morning Show (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Shyann Malone - Saturday mornings on The Morning Show (6:00-8:00 a.m.); also reporter
- Melanie Michael - weeknights at 5:00 and 5:30 p.m.; also reporter
- Reginald Roundtree - weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Heather Van Nest - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
10 News Weather Authority Meteorologists
- Mark Collins (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Saturday mornings on The Morning Show (6:00-8:00 a.m.)
- Bobby Deskins (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on The Morning Show (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Jim Van Fleet (NWA Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Kate Wentzel (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 6:30 and weekends at 11:00 p.m.
- Chris Fischer - sports anchor/reporter; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 6:30 and weekends at 11:00 p.m.
- Bobby Lewis - sports reporter, also fill-in sports anchor
- Dave Wirth - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m., also fill-in news anchor
- Kathryn Bursch - general assignment reporter
- Charles Billi - general assignment reporter
- Mike Deeson - investigative reporter
- Eric Glasser - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Grayson Kamm - weekday morning reporter (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Danica Lawrence - general assignment reporter
- Isabel Mascareñas - education reporter
- Noah Pransky - investigative reporter
- Preston Rudie - general assignment reporter
- Andre Senior - general assignment reporter
- Holley Sinn - weekday morning traffic reporter (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Jennifer Titus - general assignment reporter
- Beau Zimmer - general assignment reporter
Notable past on-air staff
- Michelle Caruso-Cabrera - reporter (1994–1998; now at CNBC)
- Dick Crippen - sports director (1965–1981)
- Dick Fletcher - chief meteorologist (1980–2008; deceased)
- Ginger Gadsden - morning anchor and noon anchor (2006–2013)
- Linda Gialanella - meteorologist (1992–2001; moved to WFTS-TV, left in February 2009)
- Don Harrison - 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. anchor (1979–1982)
- Rob Jones - freelance meteorologist (2008–2009)
- Wally Kinnan - chief meteorologist (1978–1980)
- Bill Logan - morning anchor (late 1990s)
- Bubba the Love Sponge - 11:00 p.m. commentator (2011–2012)
- Bill McGinty - reporter (now at WCNC)
- Rick Moore - news director/anchor (1977–1978)
- Miles O'Brien - reporter (1984–1986)
- Randy Rauch - weekend meteorologist (2002–2008)
- Craig Sager - sports anchor/reporter (1977–1979)
- Tammie Souza - chief meteorologist - (2008–2011, now back at WFLD in Chicago)
- Dave Wagner - evening anchor (1987–1995, now at WCNC)
- John Wilson - 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. anchor (1981–1993; now at WTVT)
- Sue Zelenko - evening anchor (1991–2004)
Notes and references
- Station history page
- Florida News Center "Goodbye PacMan"
- RabbitEars TV Query for WTSP
- FCC document: "APPENDIX B: ALL FULL-POWER TELEVISION STATIONS BY DMA, INDICATING THOSE TERMINATING ANALOG SERVICE BEFORE ON OR FEBRUARY 17, 2009."
- CDBS Print
- WTSP 10 News: Transmitter move, WTSP, October 1, 2011.
- "Anchor Marty Matthews out at WTSP-Ch. 10". Tampabay.com. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- WTSP-Ch. 10 confirms Dave Wirth will take over as station's lead sports anchor
- Fox, Scripps to Pool News in 3 Markets, TVNewsCheck, April 1, 2009.
- Next To News Share: Tampa, L.A., TVNewsCheck, June 2, 2009.
- Sky 10 is officially grounded..., Florida News Center, February 2, 2009.
- St. Petersburg Times: "Citing viewer confusion, local CBS affiliate changes name from 10 Connects to 10 News", July 29, 2010.
- WTSP: "Bubba the Love Sponge on 10 News tonight at 11", February 17, 2011.
- St. Petersburg's WTSP-Ch. 10 to debut 9 a.m. newscast on Monday, St. Petersburg Times, September 8, 2011.
- "Gannett Stations Clean Up Their Graphics". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- WTSP ABC Tampa Open
- WTSP Noon Open *NEW OPEN*
- WTSP "10 Connects" Open
- WTSP News team, WTSP.com, Accessed October 18, 2010
- Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WTSP
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WTSP-TV
- mcsittel.com: 1990s DX screengrabs from Tallahassee -- includes a 1992 WTSP ABC schedule screengrab