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Local TV news legend John Wilson to retire

WTVT news anchor John Wilson, left, and his son, Mark Wilson, pose for a photo in the Fox 13 news studio in Tampa in 2011. John says retiring in November will provide more time with family.

Brian Blanco

WTVT news anchor John Wilson, left, and his son, Mark Wilson, pose for a photo in the Fox 13 news studio in Tampa in 2011. John says retiring in November will provide more time with family.

Reagan was president, Doug Williams led the creamsicle-colored Tampa Bay Buccaneers as quarterback and in 1981 a new news anchor named John Wilson arrived on WTSP-CH. 10. He spent the next three decades in Tampa Bay living rooms, the last 20 years on the Fox affliate WTVT-Ch. 13. But now an era is passing with the news that Wilson, one of the most respected journalists in local television, is retiring this fall.

In that time he has delivered stories on Romanian orphans, reported from Guantanimo Bay, Cuba, and witnessed the execution of serial killer Ted Bundy. He was there when local media stations made the "big switch" in 1994 when Ch. 10 switched from an ABC affiliate to a CBS affiliate, WFTS-Ch. 28 became an ABC affiliate and Ch. 13 went from being a long-time CBS affiliate to part of the then-rising Fox network. John Wilson was at the helm on that first Fox newscast at 6:30 p.m. Standing behind one of two black marble-top podiums, he unveiled Ch. 13 Eyewitness World News in a thoroughly modern set, complete with a high-tech, nine-panel video wall. As promised, he related national stories to Tampa Bay.

The Walter Cronkite of Tampa Bay, Wilson may be better known to younger audience members as the father of Hollywood hottie Patrick Wilson whose turns on Broadway and the big screen are widely lauded. His other sons have also made their mark, with sons Mark a fellow Ch. 13 anchor and Paul, who owns a Tampa advertising firm.

You can read more about his storied career here before he steps down in November.

[Last modified: Monday, May 26, 2014 1:27pm]

    

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