Channel 13
Personalities
and Sponsors

Pat Colmenares

 

Pat was a fine singer who interviewed celebrities and studio guests on Pulse Plus!.  She also co-hosted WTVT's coverage of special events including the annual Gasparilla Parade.

Pat's tenure started with Pulse Plus! in 1973 and lasted until the early 80's.  She then left broadcasting and became one of Tampa Bay's premiere real estate properties.  After a twenty year battle with Lupus, Pat passed away in June of 2004.

 

Bruce Hutchcraft

The late Bruce Hutchcraft was Channel 13's agriculture reporter.  Central Florida is a vast farming area, with oranges, cattle, strawberries, and other crops abounding.  Bruce mainly worked "Breakfast Beat" and often shared air time with Ernie Lee.  Bruce was also a licensed private pilot.

 

Sandy Miller

Sandy was Pat Colmenares' predecessor on Breakfast Beat. 

She returned to the program for several years during the early 1980s.

Jerry Krumbholz

Jerry was a long timer at Channel 13, dating back to the 50's. He served as announcer, occasional on-camera commercial spokesman, and frequent in-house announcer for production service presentations.  Jerry also hosted several anniversary specials for Channel 13.  To read more about Jerry and learn about the special life of being a booth announcer, CLICK HERE

 

Dean Drapin

Dean also was an announcer at Channel 13. 

He appeared on Pulse Plus! with a segment titled "Tampa Bay Topics."  On High-Q, Dean was the announcer and play-by-play man: "Hillsborough High...Johnson!" 

Dean later was heard on local radio and is now a member of IATSE, the union whose members include theater stagehands.

 

Charlie Hampton

Charlie was WTVT's public service director, and a sweeter man you would never meet. 

Charlie was producer and host of "College Kaleidoscope," and his department was responsible for "Church Service," "Black Contact," and "High-Q."

 

Martha Mackey

Martha co-hosted 'Black Contact,' a weekly show spotlighting the minority community.  News reporter Dale Greene was the other regular host.

 

Clarita Garcia

Appeared regularly on Pulse Plus! with tantalizing recipes and cooking demonstrations.  When Clarita was partnered with Bruce Hutchcraft, pandemonium resulted, as told by former sports reporter Pete Johnson: "Comedian Marty Allen was on Pulse Plus!.  During Clarita and Bruce's segment, Marty took over the show and things got wild.  Our director, Joe Wiezycki, called me back to the set to help get control of the situation because all Bruce was doing was laughing the entire time and Clarita was totally flustered. It was hilarious!"

 

Father Desmond Daly

Serving the St. Petersburg Catholic Diocese, Father Daly produced the Catholic 'Church Service' every few weeks.  Father Daly was a great guy and always a pleasure to work with.

 

Gordon Solie


Photo courtesy Pamela Allyn
Gordon wasn't on staff at Channel 13, but his 'Championship Wrestling From Florida' appeared on the station regularly in the 50's and 60's.  Solie, known as 'The Dean of Professional Wrestling Announcers', was the producer and play-by-play guy for wrestling in an era that was much simpler than today's WWF.  

Solie was adept at narrating the outrageous antics of the wrestlers and also interviewing them after the matches.  Some of Solie's wrestlers also appeared as villains on '3-D Danny.'  Gordon's daughter Pam compiled his essays and memoirs into a book titled "Gordon Solie...Something Left Behind."  

 

This fascinating book details wrestling and promotion through the eyes of Gordon Solie.  Also included are his essays and memoirs.  "Gordon Solie...Something Left Behind" can be purchased for $19.95 with any major credit card on the publisher's website at
www.floridabookstore.com

Call (407) 816-9596 to order directly and pay by check.

The Solie Chronicles was published in 2009.
Authored by Robert Allyn, Solie's son-in-law, and Pamela Allyn, Solie's daughter,
The Solie Chronicles tells the story behind televised wrestling's early impresario.

For more information, click on the link below
http://crowbarpress.com/crowbarpress/solie/index.html

 

 

Manuel Beiro from Valencia Garden Restaurant

'Salude and Happy Days'!  Starting on Fridays in the mid-1960's Manuel Beiro of Tampa's famous restaurant Valencia Garden would pack up a car-trunk full of food and make the short drive down Kennedy Blvd. to Channel 13 for a commercial appearance with Paul Reynolds. Andy Hardy became Beiro's partner after Reynolds left the station in 1968.  

Beiro, a little on the shy side, would let Paul and Andy do most of the talking.  Every commercial began with 'Salude and Happy Days #_______".  The count eventually got into the hundreds since it referred to the actual number of commercials Beiro had appeared in.  So, if you heard 'Salude and Happy Days' #455...Biero had been there 455 times!  After the commercials were taped for playback after Friday's 11pm Pulse newscast the crew had a delicious (and free) meal.

Valencia Garden was abruptly closed in June of 2009 when the property was purchased for development by the University of Tampa.  It was another sad loss of a Tampa Bay area landmark.

 

Chick Smith


(PHOTO COURTESY KIM SMITH-CHAVARRIA)

Chick Smith, a Ford dealer who appeared regularly in commercials seen on Channel 13,  was noted for his high pitched, rapid delivery.  The crew's hearing suffered every time Chick came into the studio and delivered his ear-splitting finale:  "CHICK SMITH FORD...IN THE HEART OF SPARK-LING DOWN-TOWN CLEARWATER!!!!!"

Chick was first seen on TV as the pitchman for Jim Quinlan Chevrolet (see photo below) before opening his own Clearwater dealership in 1968. Smith was with Quinlan for five years as his General Manager and commercial spokesman.  After Smith's departure Quinlan took over the on-camera appearances and became a familiar face to bay area viewers. Quinlan's tag-line for the commercials was “...on US Hwy 19 just a little bit south of Clearwater.”  Chick Smith Ford's slogan became “Chick Smith Ford in the Heart of Sparkling downtown Clearwater!!!”  Smith's dealership was in business for 12 years before selling to Bill Currie.


 

Charlie Droughman

St. Pete's largest Dodge dealer wore a cowboy hat and his tag line was "Nobody, but nobody....beats a deal from Charlie Droughman Dodge!"  Mr. Droughman's dealership, Colonial Dodge, was located on US 19 in St. Pete where Dayton Andrews Dodge currently stands. On a personal note, Charlie's pretty daughter Cindy was a classmate of mine in the 5th Grade.  She was a doll!

 

Jim Quinlan

A Bay Area G.M. dealer, Jim Quinlan probably bought as much television time as any dealer in the country.  Quinlan was one of the earliest sponsors to use a remote unit to tape commercials at the dealership.
 



A 1966 Jim Quinlan Chevrolet remote at Six Gun Territory.
On-air pitchman 'Chick' Smith is seen in the cowboy getup.
(PHOTO COURTESY KIM SMITH-CHAVARRIA)

 

John Fruhmorgen
"Unclaimed Freight is great!"  was a catchphrase heard for what seems likeI hundreds of times a day on the main bay area stations.  In the commercials, John was loud and forceful and always signed off with the phrase "Unclaimed Freight is great."  Eventually, John had his wife, his kids and his mother in law saying this at the end of some of his spots.  In the late 70's, most Bay Area kids went around shouting "unclaimed freight is great" wherever they went.

John was the owner of Unclaimed Freight, although the outfit didn't actually sell any unclaimed freight.  U.F. sold discounted furniture and started out with one big warehouse on West Hillsborough Avenue and quickly
expanded. Financial complications resulted in his move into one small building on south Dale Mabry.

Reddy Kilowatt

Reddy was created in the 1920's as a mascot for the Alabama Power Company.  He was soon licensed to other power companies across the nation including TECO, The Tampa Electric Company, where he appeared in advertisements, commercials, and brochures. For live appearances on The Mary Ellen Show a costume was rendered complete with a working light bulb for the nose. 

REDDY KILOWATT'S PRINTED VERSION AND LIVE VERSION ON THE MARY ELLEN SHOW
(All Reddy Kilowatt images copyright Reddy Kilowatt Corp)

OTHER WTVT PERSONALITIES:

Ernie Lee
CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT WTVT's Southern Gentleman

Paul Reynolds

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT PAUL AND 'SHOCK THEATRE'

Mary Ellen

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT MARY ELLEN

Ed Scott

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT ED SCOTT ('3-D DANNY')


CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE MAIN MENU