WTSP-Ch. 10 Debuts High Definition Broadcasts Today
Spokesman Pete Nikiel told me that, even though they were airing commercials saying that high definition broadcasts were coming soon to the CBS affiliate, technical issues kept them from saying for sure what day that might happen. I asked him to give me a call when they decided, so we could get an item in the newspaper.
Well, no call is needed now, following WTSP's debut of high definition broadcasts during its 4 p.m. newscast today, now called Tampa Bay's 10 News at 4. They also have a glitzy new set, which featured a huge graphic of palm trees by the water on the 4 p.m. show, which tends to be more feature oriented. To see WTSP's own story on the upgrade, click here.
Nikiel acknowledged the station has been slowly changing the approach of its 4 p.m. newscast, which debuted as Life Around the Bay in 2003 with more feature stories, community news and two anchor podiums which looked like they were nabbed from the Starship Enterprise. Now, with more traditional news in the program, "it just made sense to call it another newscast," he said. "It will be a newscast appropriate for that time of day." The station's 10 a.m. talk show, Studio 10, will also air in high definition, though they don't get a new set.
Nikiel just told me that WTSP spent two weeks rebuilding their studio from the ground up, creating a huge room dominated by two large, wall-sized plasma monitors and an anchor desk backed by graphics in deep blues and reds, with images of palms trees and skyscrapers and splashes of brown. It's a sleek, modern look that wears well; no Trek-like podiums in sight.
This means WTVT-Ch. 13 is the last broadcast station with local newscasts which isn't broadcasting in HD (though their weather graphics are branded as high definition, the actual newscast is not broadcast in HD, so viewers can't really see it). My sources at WTVT tell me the Fox station has plans to bring HD online, but they have not yet revealed a timetable.