General Manager for Fox's WTVT-Ch. 13 Arrested Friday Night
Jail officials have posted a charge report detailing the arrest Friday night of WTVT-Ch. 13 general manager Robert Linger.
The charges are lewd and lascivious behavior and exposure of a sexual organ, and the arrest occurred at 11:15 Friday night in a movie theater at an area adult video store, according to Tampa police.
According to the online report, Linger bailed out on $750 bond this morning. Calls to WTVT were routed to the voice mail of news director Mike McClain; a request that staffers at the station call McClain directly was denied.
Rival WTSP-Ch. 10 posted a short item on the arrest on its Web site this morning. In the arrest report, Linger gave his employer name as New World Communications; when Fox purchased WTVT from New World Communications in 1997, it structured the ownership under a company named New World Communications of Tampa.
Fox officials would not say whether Linger would be allowed to return to his job on Monday. A story on the station's Web site says "Fox 13 is aware of the matter and is currently reviewing it."
Back in September, when Bill Carey, the general manager at Tampa's ABC affiliate WFTS-Ch. 28, was arrested following a hit and run in which police allege he accosted the other driver at the scene, Carey was suspended by the station's owners and never returned to his old job.
According to Tampa police, Linger was among six men arrested Friday night for masturbating on the premises of the Fantasy Land Adult Video Store. Their report said Linger and five other men formed a circle around two undercover police officers and began the act.
Police also have a history of arresting folks at that address; we wrote a story in 2002 about 14 arrests at the store.