WFTS-Ch. 28 news director Doug Culver announces departure, can't say where he's going
He already has at least two high-profile jobs to fill, but WFTS-Ch. 28 general manager Rich Pegram is confident he can do so, even while facing a third departure:
The station’s news director.
Staffers learned Monday news director Doug Culver (right) will be leaving Tampa’s ABC affiliate in two weeks. But he hasn’t even told Pegram where he is going or what job he is taking next, citing confidentiality agreements.
“That’s not unusual,” Pegram said, noting that whoever hired Culver might still be notifying other applicants or might be removing someone who doesn’t yet know they are being replaced. “He wouldn’t be leaving unless he was heavily recruited and headed to a tremendous opportunity.”
WFTS is preparing to choose a replacement for morning forecaster Stephanie Roberts, who was let go without much public explanation in early May. Pegram said the station will gather opinions this week from focus groups on two finalists, with a decision expected within two weeks.
He also must replace investigative reporter Alan Cohn, who was let go May 31, just before big stories Cohn broke about former Hillsborough County commissioner Jim Norman and sports eligibility questions at Armwood High School were resolved. Reporter Don Germaise also retired at the end of May.
The station announced Tuesday night weekend reporter Ashley Glass would serve as permanent co-anchor on the station's weekend morning newscasts; she had been filling in following the departure of Ellen McNamara. Glass, a graduate of the University of Florida, has worked at WFTS since 2010.
Pegram hired Culver in 2008 from KIRO-TV in Seattle, where he served as assistant news director. Culver did not return several calls seeking comment.
But Pegram, who is known for taking an active role in WFTS’ newsroom, expects to be even more involved as the search begins for a new news director, just after the station lodged important victories at 11 p.m. and early evening in May’s “sweeps” ratings period.
“That’s what they pay me for,” he said. “The most important thing I do is hire good people.”
Here's the press release regarding Glass' promotion:
ABC Action News Names Weekend Morning Anchor
Journalist Ashley Glass to Co-Anchor Saturday and Sunday Mornings
ABC Action News is proud to announce Ashley Glass as co-anchor for ABC Action News on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Ashley is a familiar face to Bay area morning news viewers as the weekday morning reporter and fill-in anchor for ABC Action News. She has been part of the ABC Action News team since 2010.
Ashley grew up in Florida and earned two degrees at the University of Florida, one in News Broadcasting and the other in Political Science. After years of reporting and anchoring newscasts across the country and around Florida, Ashley brings her trusted experience and engaging personality to viewers every Saturday and Sunday morning starting at 6am.
“Ashley is the perfect fit for these newscasts,” said ABC Action News Director Doug Culver. “She’s a skilled reporter able to keep everyone informed during breaking news events and she also has that warmth and energy you want when waking up on a weekend morning to make plans for the day.”
Ashley Glass joins John Thomas and Bill Logan on ABC Action News’ award winning weekend morning newscasts.