|Venice/Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
|City of license||Venice, Florida|
|Branding||Univision Tampa Bay (general)
Noticias Tampa Bay (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 25 (UHF)
Virtual: 62 (PSIP)
62.3 ZUUS Latino
|Owner||Entravision Communications Corporation
(Entravision Holdings, LLC)
|First air date||May 3, 1991|
|Call letters' meaning||"vea" is Spanish for "I see" (present subjunctive)|
|Former callsigns||WBSV-TV (1991–2000)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
62 (UHF, 1991–2009)
|Former affiliations||independent (1991–2001)|
|Transmitter power||750 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WVEA-TV, virtual channel 62 (UHF digital channel 25), is a Univision-affiliated television station serving Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida, United States that is licensed to Venice. The station is owned by Entravision Communications Corporation; Entravision also operates UniMás station WFTT-DT (channel 50) under a local marketing agreement with owner Univision Communications. The two stations share studio facilities located on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa (in a former Barnett Bank building west of Armenia Avenue), and its transmitter is located at the antenna farm at Riverview.
On cable, WVEA is available on Bright House and Comcast channel 8 in Hillsborough County (WFLA-TV, which broadcasts on channel 8 over-the-air, is instead carried on channel 7), channel 7 in Pinellas County and channel 15 in Manatee, Polk and Sarasota Counties.
The station first signed on the air on May 3, 1991 as WBSV-TV (for Bradenton, Sarasota, and Venice, the three cities it primarily served; it originally operated as an English-language independent station serving the Sarasota area, and competed with the area's ABC affiliate WWSB (channel 40) and the other stations in the Tampa Bay and nearby Fort Myers markets. As WBSV, the station ran a variety of syndicated and local programming, along with infomercials and home shopping programs; early on, the station also produced a local newscast. However, the station was unprofitable, eventually relying more on home shopping and infomercials to keep the station afloat.
In 2000, the station was acquired by Entravision Communications, with the intent of moving its transmitter from Venice to Riverview and move Univision programming to the station from Entravision's existing low-power affiliate, WVEA-LP (channel 61). WBSV's history ended in early 2001, when the station ceased broadcasting for a few weeks to perform the move and establish WVEA's new studio facilities. In March 2001, the station returned to the air with its current programming and call letters.
The WVEA call letters and programming originated on low-power station W50AC (channel 50). That station operated as Tampa Bay's first Spanish-language television station, operating as an affiliate of the Spanish International Network (the forerunner of Univision), when it signed on the air in 1982. In 1988, to make way for new Home Shopping Network flagship station WBHS (channel 50, now WFTT-DT), the station relocated to UHF channel 61 and changed its callsign to W61BL; in 1994, the station changed its call letters to WVEA-LP. After Entravision bought channel 62, in March 2001, the entire WVEA intellectual unit (studios, Univision affiliation and programming) moved from the low-power station on channel 61 to the full-power station on channel 62. WVEA-LP itself remains in operation on channel 46, carrying programming from the Home Shopping Network.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|62.1||1080i||16:9||WVEA-DT||Main WVEA programming / Univision|
WVEA-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 62, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 25, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 62, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
WVEA-TV presently broadcasts five hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with one hour on weekdays); the station does not broadcast any news programming on Saturdays and Sundays. The station's news department shares resources with Orlando sister station WVEN-TV. WVEA simulcasted WVEN's news programming until 2013, when WVEA began producing its own newscasts under the title Noticias Tampa Bay. However, WVEN continues to produce sports and weather segments inserted into WVEA's newscasts.
Current on-air staff
- Jose Gray - weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Natalie Perez - weeknights at 6 p.m.
- Henry Golac - meteorologist; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Hector Severyn - sports anchor; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Cristian Benavides - general assignment reporter; also fill-in 11 p.m. anchor
- Sheila Rios - general assignment reporter
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WVEA-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WVEA-TV
- mcsittel.com: 1990s DX screengrabs from Tallahassee -- includes a 1993 WBSV test pattern