Make us your home page

WFLA-Ch. 8 forecaster is a victim of budget cuts

It was the last thing he expected to happen, nine months into a new contract.

But Mace Michaels, the second-longest-tenured forecaster at WFLA-Ch. 8, was told recently he will leave the Tampa NBC station Aug. 4, his job eliminated by budget cuts at the Media General-owned station.

Words of Michaels' departure comes as the Richmond, Va., company released a report Thursday noting that a series of job reductions that began in early 2007 will have eliminated 750 jobs from the company by the third quarter of 2008. About 250 of those jobs were eliminated last year, with 500 job reductions remaining this year, according to a company spokesman.

The bulk of those cuts are expected to fall in Florida, where Media General has already offered buyout packages to half of its 1,326 employees, including workers at WFLA,, the Tampa Tribune, Hernando Today, and a host of smaller daily and weekly newspapers. According to materials circulated to employees in April, Media General staffers who applied for the buyout should learn this week if the company has accepted their application.

Michaels, 37, came to WFLA in April 2000, getting a rocky start when he broke away from a U.S. Open golf broadcast to report on a waterspout just as the legendary Tiger Woods was wrapping up a record 15-stroke victory in June 2000.

"They told me this was 100 percent budget-related," Michaels said. "They're cutting the budget, and I'm the victim."

The company expects the job cuts — about a 10 percent reduction from the company peak of 6,900 jobs in early 2007 — to save $40-million in 2009.

WFLA-Ch. 8 forecaster is a victim of budget cuts 05/22/08 [Last modified: Sunday, May 25, 2008 12:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members


    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  4. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion


    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  5. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]