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Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS-Ch. 28 faces third departure

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 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 not have told the person he is replacing.

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.

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.

• • •

Tampa public radio station WUSF-FM (89.7) has won a national Edward R. Murrow award for its documentary "Jumping Off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge … and Surviving."

The documentary was developed by independent producer Rich Halter and aired on WUSF's Florida Matters program.

Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS-Ch. 28 faces third departure 06/12/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 6:44pm]
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