WFLA and WTTA Finally Fess Up: New 10 p.m. Newscast Coming to Tampa Bay Market
It's amazing what one published article can do.
At least, that's what I'm telling myself following the press release circulated today from WFLA-Ch. 8 and WTTA-Ch. 38 finally acknowledging their "news sharing" agreement in which WFLA and Media General personnel will create a 10 p.m. newscast for WTTA called NewsChannel 8 at 10. I ran a story in today's Times and on this blog announcing their arrangement this morning, after management in both stations refused to return my calls for days.
Anchored by WFLA reporter Peter Bernard and Katie Coronado, a reporter for Media General's Spanish-language newspaper Centro, the 35-minute newscast will also feature weather reporters from WFLA's weekend meteorologists, Leigh Spann and Mace Michaels. It all debuts Oct. 8.
News of the show was common knowledge around WFLA this week. Still, officials at the station refused to even return my phone calls when I tried to ask them about the project (usually, if I ask about something people don't want to discuss, they call me back after the first three phone calls and say they can't talk)
The release doesn't say this, but I'm still convinced this is mostly about creating a newscast which can soak up political ad dollars in a hotly contested election year. Which leads to an important question: Does the area really need another 10 p.m. TV newscast? And if not, can this newscast be more than a selling point for national advertisers and an audition tape for Bernard and Coronado?
Here's the release:
WFLA-TV/DT ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF 10 P.M. NEWS BEGINNING OCTOBER 8, 2007
Local News Leader Brings Award Winning Coverage to 10 p.m. Time Period
For Immediate Release…(September 28, 2007)…Tampa, Florida…WFLA-TV, News Channel 8, (NBC 8) announces the launch of News Channel 8 at 10, Monday through Friday on WTTA-TV (MYTV 38) beginning October 8, 2007.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to bring to this market a compelling, live newscast at 10 p.m. from News Channel 8, the area’s news leader,” said President and General Manager of WFLA-TV, Mike Pumo.
“News Channel 8 at 10 will be the news of record at 10pm for breaking news, weather, and top stories,” added Pumo. “Our partnership with WTTA-TV is the vital connection that allows us to provide this coverage for viewers at a time that’s important to them.”
"We are very excited to announce this partnership between News Channel 8 and MY TV TAMPA BAY,” said Julie Nelson, General Manager for WTTA. It provides another choice for live, late-breaking news at 10 o’clock, which viewers have requested. We’re proud to be working with the market’s news leader, News Channel 8, to help meet the community’s needs and bring more local programming to Tampa Bay.”
“This newscast will be a headline-driven, top-story format, with heavy emphasis on bringing viewers up-to-date on local stories as well as continuously updated weather,” said WFLA-TV News Director, Don North.
News Channel 8 at 10. will capitalize on the resources of WFLA-TV, The Tampa Tribune and tbo.com to provide the market with the area’s number one choice for local news and weather at 10 p.m.
As the news leader in the Tampa-St Petersburg television market, WFLA-TV currently broadcasts local news weekdays from 5 – 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., and evenings at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
News Channel 8 at 10 will air weeknights from 10-10:35 p.m. on WTTA-MY TV TAMPA BAY.
About Media General
WFLA-TV is owned my Media General. Media General is a multimedia company operating leading newspapers, television stations and online enterprises primarily in the Southeastern United States. The company’s publishing assets include three metropolitan newspapers, The Tampa Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Winston-Salem Journal; 22 daily community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina; and more than 150 weekly newspapers and other publications. The company’s broadcasting assets include 23 network-affiliated television stations that reach more than 32 percent of the television households in the Southeast and nearly 9.5 percent of those in the United States. The company’s interactive media assets include more than 75 online enterprises that are associated with its newspapers and television stations. Media General also owns a 33 percent interest in SP Newsprint Company, a manufacturer of recycled newsprint.