Where Are They Now?

UP TO THE MINUTE INFORMATION ON YOUR FAVORITE CHANNEL 13 PEOPLE, BOTH ON-AIR AND BEHIND THE SCENES. 
IF YOU SEE A ? BEHIND THE NAME, WE'RE LOOKING FOR CURRENT INFORMATION, SO FILL US IN!
 

 

Kay Adams (Deceased)
Was part of Ernie Lee's musical family for many years.  Kay, who passed away in 2009, was married to J.D. Renney, one of Ernie's lead guitarists.

Herb Adams
Another of Ernie Lee's troupe, Herb is retired and living in Ohio.

Frank Ahern
Is a public relations representative and video producer for the University of Florida.

Charlie Allen
Joined WTVT as a night and weekend reporter in November 1958.  In 1959, he was assigned to St. Petersburg and later became Pinellas County bureau chief.  Charlie became News Assignment Editor in '66, producing the 6 p.m. Pulse news until he returned to Tallahassee in 1974.  Charlie played a significant role in the hiring Jule McGee (from Channel 10), Chip Collins (from Channel 38) and Ray Blush (from Channel 8). From 1974-1991 he served as chief of the Florida Department of  Agriculture and Consumer Services Bureau of Information, Education and Research Services.  He retired as the development director for Florida State University broadcast stations.

Eric Allen
Eric joined the floor crew in 1977 and spent most of his time at WTVT on the morning show.  First on Breakfast Beat, then Pulse Plus!, and Good Day, Tampa Bay.  Eric retired in January, 2009.

Cynthia Anderson
One of Marvette Carter's assistants in the promotion department is living in Atlanta.

Kristy Andersen
One of the first women to break into the all-male production staff, Kristy is now a producer of independent films. Her 'American Masters' documentary on  the story of Zora Neale Hurston was well received.  She's currently working on the story of author Jack Kerouac's time in St. Petersburg.

Don Anderson? - St. Petersburg stringer

Sharyl Attkisson
This former Pulse anchor (1986-90) joined CNN in Atlanta and then moved on to WCBS-TV in New York as an anchor.  Sharyl was with CBS as an investigative reporter in their Washington, D.C. bureau.  In June 2012,  Sharyl was awarded the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting for the "Gunwalker: Fast and Furious" story.  Sharyl had previously received an Investigative Emmy Award in 2009 for "Outstanding Investigative Reporting of a Business News Story" for her exclusive investigations into TARP and the bank bailout. She received an Investigative Emmy Award in 2002 for "Outstanding Investigative Journalism" for her series of exclusive reports about mismanagement at the Red Cross.  Sharyl left CBS in March, 2014 and joined Sinclair Broadcasting in July, 2015..
 

John Baker
A videotape editor from 1988 through 1990, John was one who made the transition from old building to new.  He is now the Tallahassee Bureau Chief of the Florida Radio Network. 

Jim Barrett (Deceased)
A former Pinellas County and Tallahassee bureau chief, Jim passed away in September, 2004. 

Jim Benedict
Jim celebrated 40 years at WTVT in March, 2004 and retired on January 4, 2008.  And they say 'no one is irreplaceable' !!  Jim will spend most of his time up in North Carolina with his wife Mary, and visit the Tampa Bay area to see his daughters and grandchildren.  Jim's 43 years at WTVT are chronicled in "Jim Benedict...A Legacy of Excellence"

You can Email him at jmsbenedict@gmail.com

Frank Berry
Frank joined WTVT in 1991 working the AM shift as an Engineer and as the Newsroom Computer Systems Administrator.  He is now retired and living in Midland, Michigan.

 

Cliff Benham
Was an engineer at 13 and now is a technician at the Early Television Museum in West Grove, Pennsylvania.

 

Ray Blush 
Followed Hugh Smith as News Director, and left WTVT in the early 80s to become Director of Corporate Communications at the Florida Power Corporation.
He is retired and living in near New Port Richy.  (and thanks to Ray for being such a terrific M.C. at our 2005 Employee Reunion!)
To see an interview with Ray titled "Ray Blush - Project 13 and Beyond" Click Here

Dan Boger (Deceased)
Former production manager Dan Boger had retired to his long time home in Lutz, and passed away in September, 2007.

 

Tom Boyle? - Tampa reporter, newscaster

 

Richard Bozeman
Retired in 2001 after being at BIG 13 for 29 years. Richard spent most of those years on the morning shift.  He now has an internet business selling collectibles on EBAY, specializing in TV and cartoon items. 

 

Jack Breit
Continued his career as professional photographer and artist.  You can see some of Jack's work displayed at The Arts Center in St. Petersburg, where he is also a teacher.

 

Bob Breck
Is Chief Meteorologist at WVUE FOX 8 in New Orleans, which was partially destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.  Bob (and Fox 8) kept the station on the air by broadcasting out of the transmitter site. 

 

John Brill
In the 70's, John served under Salty Sol and Andy Hardy in the Sports Department.  John worked in Hillsborough County government and is now retired and living in North Carolina with his wife,  former Channel 13 reporter/anchor Deanna Lawrence.

 

Paul Blauschka  ?

 

Billy Bowles
Billy took over as Chief Photographer after Jack Cosgrove.  He is now retired and living in the New Port Richey area.

 

Jayne Boyd 
Like Walter Rhoads....Jayne was one of the ORIGINAL Channel 13 employees....she was one of the first female Program Directors in the United States.  To read about Jayne's career, click on "Jayne Boyd...A Way With Words."

 

Jeri Bunt
One of Channel 13's "Year One" employees, Jeri worked the switchboard, promotion, and film services.  She eventually married production manager Ken Smith.  Look for her story in "Jeri Bunt...Channel 13's Cover Girl," in the 'Year One' section.

 

Gil Butler? -  newscaster

 

Ann Carlon  
Worked in the Sports Department under Andy Hardy.  From WTVT-TV, Ann received a Masters Degree in Photojournalism from the U of Minnesota and produced, wrote and edited Cable TV programs. The following year she was the PM Magazine Co-Host at the Duluth, Minnesota WDIO-TV station and also produced stories. Ann then moved back into the Sports reporting and weekend sports anchoring for WDIO.   Joining an advertising agency - Westmoreland, Larson & Webster as an Account Executive, Ann produced the Iron Mining Industry television program for six years. She was asked to join the Duluth Convention & Visitors Bureau as the Public Relations Director and started the Eagan, Minnesota Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1994 as Executive Director.

Ann's husband passed away in 2004.  As of 2007 she's in Minneapolis working with the Natural Gas Utility handling External Affairs for the Central part of the state.

Ann still enjoys sports and plays competitive tennis and golf.

 

Tony Carswell
Started on the production crew and later moved to
Master Control at FOX 13.  He is now retired.

 

Terry Casey
This accomplished anchor and reporter had been awarded two local Emmys, a TELLY Award, the DuPont-Columbia Award for Excellence, AP-Best Documentary and more.  Terry is a resident of Jacksonville Beach and a much-sought after voice over announcer and spokesman.  You can check out his web site at www.terrycaseyvoiceworks.com

 

Marvette Carter 
The station's former promotion director is now known as Marvelle Lightfields...and she is a Reiki Master in St. Petersburg.

 

Rod Challenger
Rod was an 11pm anchor in the mid-70's.  He later became the Pinellas County correspondent for WFLA-TV.  Rod retired from WFLA in 2008.

 

Mike Clark   
Left 13 in 1977 to pursue a TV career in Los Angeles.  For 25 years he was with Columbia/TriStar TV (now Sony Pictures Television) as in-house producer, director, and editor for the syndication department.  The "Big 13" web site you're reading is his baby.  To see Mike's dramatic, heart-tugging and over-the-top story,  CLICK HERE 

To Email Mike, Click Here

 

Chip Collins (Deceased)
Channel 13's former assignment editor was a church administrator in Clearwater.  Chip passed away in 2010.

 

Joe Collum
Was a reporter from 1982-84. He was hired away by Bob Franklin to start up a new Investigative Team at Houston's KPRC-TV. (Bob later became News Director and General Manager of WTVT). At KPRC Joe's I-Team won a number of prestigious national journalism awards, including Four I.R.E. Awards, two Sigma Delta Chi Bronze Medallions, The National RTNDA First Prize for Investigative Reporting and the George Polk Award. Joe's commendations continued at WWOR-TV in New York, including the duPont-Columbia Silver Gavel and 12 NY Emmy's. Joe reported from Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 and for several days thereafter. He left WWOR shortly after 9/11 and moved to Fort Lauderdale, where he authored the book "The Black Dragon: Racial Profiling Exposed."

Pat Colmenares (Deceased)
The former co-host of Breakfast Beat and Pulse Plus! became one of Tampa Bay's premier real estate agents of luxury properties.  She passed away on June 22, 2003, after a long battle against Lupus.

 

Corrine Connors
Corinne worked at WTVTís Data Dept from 1973-76 with Donette Dickey, Ruth Alford, Edna Gunn.  She married,  moved to Gainesville and has been working for the University of Florida ever since. Corinne is currently Sr. Associate Director of Admissions.  She travels back to visit all the Hillsborough county high schools every fall and proudly references her Ch 13ís employment.

 

Jack Cosgrove (Deceased)
Was one of WTVT's "Year 1" employees, starting in August, 1955.  Read about his time at WTVT in "Jack Cosgrove, Hail to the Chief (Photographer"
Jack passed away in January, 2014.

 

Frank Cossota, Jr.
A former remote crew chief and projectionist coordinates repairs of the 40-something WTVT trucks and Explorers at a local Ford dealer.

 

Charles Cox - 1950s farm reporter

 

Ray Dantzler (Deceased)
A reporter, anchor, News Director, Editorial Director, and Program Manager, Ray passed away in April, 2004.

 

Victor Dashiell
Lives and works in the Sarasota area.

 

Art Day - 1960s farm reporter

 

Phil Dean
Was a news reporter from 1977-1979. He joined Florida Power Corporation and stayed there until 2001. He currently is the President of Dean Communications, a full service communications company.

Frances Dees 
Worked for Marvette Carter in promotions.  She lives in Tampa.

 

Todd DeBonis
Joined ABC news and traveled around the world as a photographer and editor.  He eventually settled in the Boston area and runs a video production business.  Todd also has a web site dedicated to SCI FI and Fantasy...to see it, CLICK HERE.  Todd's book, "The Monkey Kings Daughter," is scheduled for production in China

 

Jim Dick
Was an anchor at Big 13 who left in 1978 to join New Jersey Nightly News based in Trenton, New Jersey.  The program was co-produced by NJPTV and WNET, NY. Jim then moved to New York City, working as 11pm news producer for both WABC and WCBS. He finally made it to the network with NBC News. The first 5 years he was on the Foreign Desk and then became Morning News Director for NBC, overseeing the newscasts and coverage for the TODAY Show while also being the Exec Producer for NBC News at Sunrise. Jim's technical director was former WTVT alumni Gil Muro.  After 16 years at NBC Jim and his wife Jeanne decided the big city was not the place to raise a family and took their twins Jeff and Allie to Madison, WI.  In 1998, Jim's became the News Director at WMTV-NBC 15.  In 2004, he returned to working in radio.  (Sad news...Dec. 2007.  Jim's son Jeff died in an automobile accident).

 

Donette Dickey (Arcos)
Was at WTVT from 1973 - 1978 in the DATA dept. with Ruth Alvord, Edna Gunn, Sam Bennett, and Corinne Connors.  Donette is now Media Director at Peakbiety.com.

 

Joe Doyle?
A former anchor for PULSE during the mid-60's

 

Dean Drapin 
Formerly an announcer and on-air personality, Dean joined I.A.T.S.E. (Local 321) in the '90's, and now does theatrical and convention work.  He is married to Anne.
(extra note...Dean was one of the final "Swinging Gentlemen" DJs on WLCY radio). 

 

Mary Ellen    (Deceased)
"Everyone's favorite Mom," Mary Ellen appeared on "Popeye's Playhouse" and "The Mary Ellen Show" for seven years. Mary Ellen passed away in 2011.  To read her wonderful story, CLICK HERE

 

Larry Elliston (Deceased)
Was a long-time producer for Jack Hanna Productions and has traveled all over the world doing animal and nature pieces.   He passed away from the effects of a heart attack on August 24, 2016

To read all about the career of Larry Elliston at WTVT, click here for "Larry Elliston, Channel 13's 'Down Home' Feature Man"

 

Larry Eskridge
Larry joined WTVT under its original owner in March of 1956 and served in the engineering department.  For many years Larry's main assignment was the remote truck.  He was Engineer In Charge (EIC) for several of those years.  He left WTVT in 1966 and two years later was helping launch operations (building the transmitter and studio) for the area's newest UHF station, WTOG, Channel 44.  Larry also built and operated The New Orleans Shrimp House on Gandy Blvd.

For the next few years Larry was designing and installing closed circuit video systems in sports arenas and racetracks.  Some of those included Boston Garden, Pocono Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Nassau Raceway, Tampa Jai Ali, Daytona Jai Ali and Daytona Dog Track.
 
Next was Chicago (first time living there from 1980 to 1985) where Larry rebuilt Optimus Post Production Facilities. (clients included Budweiser, American Air, McDonald's, Etc.)  Larry then moved over to WMAQ, the NBC O & O in Chicago to manage Studio Operations (with a staff of 120 engineers).  Larry then designed and built Center City Studios, a 22,000 square foot production studio.
 
Larry started his own business with that job, building three low power TV stations around the country and designing and installing satellite networks for various companies.  He moved back to Florida with the business (Naples), then was offered the job of designing, building and operating the first full high definition television station, WYCC,  in Chicago.  He moved back there in 2002 and left in 2008.
 
He is now retired and settled in Henderson, Nevada, after a broadcasting career lasting 52 years. 

John Evans
Channel 13's first Tallahassee bureau chief went to work for the Florida governor's staff in the early 60's.  He returned to broadcasting by joining John Haberlan and Ken Smith at WESH-TV in Orlando, eventually becoming General Manager. John was director of Corporate Communications for a health system serving Florida's Fun Coast that includes hospitals in Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, a successful HMO, a PPO serving self-insured employers in the area, a hospice and several support companies.  John has written a first-person account of his time at Channel 13.  Click here for "John Evans...Covering the State Capital."

 

Tommy Eure (Decesed
Wasn't technically an employee, but he did share real estate with Channel 13 for many years and provided occasional still photography.  You can read his story by CLICKING HERE

 

Wayne Fariss (deceased)
Was one of Channel 13's original anchors, and worked with News Director Dick John.  Wayne later moved to Miami, and spent 26 years with WSVN.  He was honored by the Miami branch of the Television Academy with a 'Silver Circle' award in 2001.  Wayne passed away at the age of 82 on October 21, 2011.  Read all about Wayne's career in "News" and  the "Year One" employee section.

 

John Ferrugia
This former reporter and producer on Project 13 went KCTV in Kansas City, then on to CBS News in 1980 as a Washington correspondent, covering the presidential inauguration of Ronald Reagan. In 1985 John was named a White House correspondent and traveled the world with President Reagan. He covered the 40th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy, and the economic summits in London and Williamsburg. He also walked the Great Wall of China with Reagan, filed reports from the "southern summit" in Brasilia, Brazil, and from the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea. John was also the principal anchor for the CBS News prime time magazine, "West 57th".

He went to Denver in 1989 to anchor the news at KCNC, and three years later joined KMGH, Channel 7, where he developed his signature report: "The Ferrugia File."  His groundbreaking investigation into the Air Force Academy's sexual harassment scandal became national news in 2002/2003 and continues to reverberate to this day.  John was awarded a Peabody in 2009 for his series of reports on deaths in the Denver area foster-care system.  In February, 2016, John left KMGH for Rocky Mountain PBS.

For BIG 13, John has written a few memories of his days with Project 13.  Click here to read "John Ferrugia...On the Road with Project 13."

Herman 'Mickey' Fisher (Deceased)
Mickey joined WTVT in 1958 and worked in projection.  By the early 60's he was directing.  Mickey was interested in acting an appeared in several Mary Ellen adventures as a pirate or an indian.  Mickey left the station in '64 and later became a pastor for Presbyterian churches in Florida.  He passed away in 2006.

John Flanders
Joined WTVT in 1963, working in production and as a news stringer.  John left the station for Nashville in 1968.  In response to a call for the banning of firearms following the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, John produced a series of PSA's funded by the NRA in support of the proper uses of personal weapons. John went to Los Angeles and produced additional spots featuring Bob Hope, Charlton Heston, Sammy Davis, Jr., and others.  While in the Golden State, John produced 5 low-budget feature films. Returning to Florida in 1972, John obtained insurance and real estate licenses and was a campaign manager for Sheriff/Representative/Senator Malcolm Beard and Sheriff Walter Heinrich.  After law school in 1985, John spends his time between residences in Costa Rica and Tampa.

 

Kathy Fountain
After 24 years of anchoring for Pulse/Eyewitness News and hosting "The Kathy Fountain Show" and "Your Turn," Kathy retired in December, 2009, to pursue her career in therapy.  Kathy is married to retired Fox 13 anchorman Frank Robertson.  In 2015, Kathy and Frank were M.C.s at the WTVT 60th Anniversary Employee Reunion.  They were sensational.

 

Alan Gadney?
Was a WTVT reporter in the mid-60's

 

Shirley Gastmann
Started at the station in the 70s handling maintenance on ENG camera and recorder field units.  After a stint for Sony, she returned to WTVT and became an expert on live vehicle maintenance and upkeep.  She helped build several live vehicles in the early years and later maintained trucks up to her retirement on February 1, 2013.

Bob Gilbert
The former producer of PULSE EXTRA is now retired and living in St. Petersburg Beach. 
You can read about his wonderful career in broadcasting by clicking on Bob Gilbert: A Guy With Something 'Extra'

Annette Gilliam? - Reporter

 

Bonnie Ginzburg
This former reporter is now Bonnie Erbe (ur-bay), a nationally syndicated columnist and host of PBS's "To The Contrary."

 

Sara Golinveaux
A woman pioneer in the WTVT newsroom, Sara (along with Lesley Schissell) blazed new trails during the 1970s for women in the media.  In later years Sara became a realtor in Tallahassee.

 

Steve Grayson  (Deceased)
After leaving his position as a production person and director at WTVT, Steve free lanced for all the networks running camera, and directed for ESPN.  He also worked with former BIG 13 director Paul Koenig as director/camera on an industrial video that won a 'Best of' award of first place out of 20,000 plus video entries.  Steve died of a heart attack in July, 2003

 

Dayle Greene 
Dayle was a graduate of  Florida A&M University who became Tampa Bay's first African-American reporter and news anchor.  Dayle also co-hosted "Black Contact" with Martha Mackey, and eventually moved into the station's advertising sales department.  Today, you can hear Dayle on WWRM-FM 94.9 where he also hosts a community affairs show, "Spectrum," every Sunday morning.  Dayle's daughter is following in his footsteps...she's at Florida A & M as a broadcast journalism student.

  

Darryl Green
A former sales guy....works for a radio station in Tampa.

 

Carole Gregory
Spent some time at Zemp/Y&R Advertising after 'TVT. Then, she made a big change and for the next 10 years built houses for a living.  Carole married a Canadian in 1990 moved to Toronto a year and a half later.  Carole is currently with Delta Air Lines.  You can Email Carole at carole@creech.info. 

 

Martha Gurwit (Deceased)
Martha is a "Year One" employee.  She was known as Martha Stuart in 1955 when Walter Tison, Channel 13's original owner, hired her for his executive secretary.  In 1956, Martha married Ch. 13's Program Director, Monte Gurwit.  They both departed WTVT shortly after Gaylord acquired the station.  To read about the early days of WTVT, click on "Monte and Martha Gurwit...A Year at WTVT"

 

Mark Haggard?

 

Tony Hamilton (Deceased)
English born Tony was a reporter for BIG 13 in the early 60's before joining the news staff of WFLA.  Tony was also head of the Miss Tampa pageant and later was a corporate spokesman for GTE.  Tony passed away at the age of 80 on August 7, 2016.  Tony authored his memories of JFK's Nov, 1963, visit to Tampa.  Follow this link for story:  JFK A HARD DAYS WORK BY TONY HAMILTON

Randy Hardison (Deceased)
A former camera operator and director at Channel 13 for nine years starting in 1986. Randy then went to WPEC, the CBS station in West Palm Beach as one of the morning newscast directors.  He was working for WBCC, the PBS affiliate operated by Brevard Community College when back surgery in early 2012 led to a series of health crisis. Randy passed away on June 21, 2012, at the age of 54. 

 

Barbara Harkins
A former assistant to Ray Dantzler, Barbara lives in the Atlanta area.

 

Ron Harpe
Retired from 13 after 22 years of service as Chief Announcer.  Current status unknown..

 

Jack Harris
This Tampa Bay broadcast veteran co-hosted Pulse Plus! during the 1980s.  Jack has his own show on WFLA radio during morning drive time.  Jack has a terrific son by the name of Jackson, who has written a profile of his dad for BIG 13.  CLICK HERE to read the Jack Harris story.

 

Earl Higgins
An engineer and maintenance supervisor at BIG 13, Earl left to become a field service rep and later a salesman for Ampex and AVID, a manufacturer of non-linear editing systems.  Earl retired from AVID in 2006 and continues to be active in electronics.  He lives with his family in Pennsylvania.  

 

Jane Hilton
Retired as WTVT's receptionist on March 20, 2002. Jane has seen many people come through the doors during her 35 years at WTVT.  Her favorite celebrity visitors include Richard Simmons; she says there was not a nicer guy in the world.   Richard was cordial to employees, friendly and so polite. As was 'Uncle Miltie', Milton Berle, so gracious both on and off the air. He stayed after an appearance and signed everyone's autographs. Morey Amsterdam from the 'Dick Van Dyke Show' also had everyone out in the lobby in stitches -- telling funny stories and interacting with employees and other guests. Actor Burt Reynolds was also a riot when he showed up for a party at the station. Jane remembers well the furor over the cancellation of 'Shock Theater'. The switchboard was jammed with complaints -- kids were outside picketing, carrying small coffins and signs. It was a zoo!

As for the television business -- especially the old days -- local news, sports and weather people were down to earth and had a great interaction with their viewers. Jane says this business attracted such nice people -- She remembers how nice they all were to her and others -- folks like Ray Blush, Cy Smith, Charlie Hampton, John Haberlan, 'Chip' Collins, Neil Vacino, Salty Sol, so giving was he!  Jane remembers the station's real gentleman in the 'old' days, Frank Cossota Sr. who worked in sales and dressed with such class.  Jane was especially sad when one of her all time favorites, Don Harris was killed while covering the Jonestown story in Guyana for NBC News. Don was just great! 

Well, Jane, you are just great too.  I'm sure you hold the record for saying 'Channel 13,' more than all the announcers combined!  Good luck and enjoy your retirement!

 

John Hayes
Left "Big 13" in 1979 to be a news director in Birmingham, Alabama, and then California. In 1983 John moved to Las Vegas to be the GM of the CBS affiliate. Then it was on to Buffalo as GM of the CBS affiliate and then to Charlotte as GM of the NBC station. The Charlotte affiliate was owned by the Providence Journal Company and after three years John went to Corporate to oversee their 13 stations and to create and launch a cable news channel (Northwest Cable News) based in Seattle. When the company was sold, John started Raycom Media. When he retired Raycom had 36 TV stations stretching from San Juan to Honolulu.  Way to go, John!

 

Fred Hoedt (deceased)
Was on the crew in the late 50's and early 60's.

 

Andy Johnson
Was hired by Roy Leep in 1979 and served the station until his retirement on February 1st, 2013.  Andy is only one of a handful of television meteorologists to be designated a Certified Consulting Meteorologist. He also holds the A.M.S. certification as a broadcast meteorologist.

 

Jon Hoegstrom
Retired from his position as Channel 8 as a director and production supervisor in June, 2012.  His wife Mary was a producer with Wm. Zemp.

 

Paul Hoffman  
An 11pm Pulse anchor, Paul left television and worked in public relations for awhile.  When last seen, Paul was with UPS.

 

Jualeta Holiday
 or "Jually", (pronounced "Wally,") worked in promotion department during the mid 1960's.

 

Jim Hooper
Worked in news from 1985-1997.  Jim was the morning news producer/assistant system manager who discovered the station's computer had been hacked by a rival station.  He now owns Hoopster Productions in Tampa.

Suzanne Huffman

Was a reporter from 1982 - 1986 and Saturday anchor. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and is now a professor in the Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

http://www.journalism.tcu.edu/97.htm
 

Doug Ibold
Worked on "The Concert for Bangledesh" in 1971, returned to WTVT for a short period, then moved to Los Angeles. He was an editor for "Magnum: P.I.", "Miami Vice," and "Law and Order, SVU".  He retired from his position at Dick Wolf Productions in 2006.

J.R. Infante

Was a news editor from 1989 Ė 1993.  Now living in Charleston, S.C., J.R. owns and operates a small Class A TV station, WJRB, which is also a Telefutura Affiliate. E-mail is jr@wjrb.com and our website is www.wjrb.com.

Joel Jackson
Worked in news as a photographer starting in 1965.  A year later he became a weekend news reporter until leaving in 1969. Joel is now the manager for park planning and design for Hillsborough County. 

 

Marian Jenkins
Worked at BIG 13 from 1984-1990.  She's currently working as an MCO at WTVY-TV Channel 4 in Dothan, Alabama. (Those call letters are VERY close to WTVT, eh?)

 

Dick John (deceased)
Channel 13's second news director left the station in 1958 for NBC in New York.  After a return to WKY in Oklahoma City he had stints at KNBC, Los Angeles,  KWTV in Oklahoma City, and KHOU in Houston.  Dick retired to Ft. Worth, Texas.  His late wife Ramona, had published her second book titled "Fun in Europe, a Travel Guide for Grown-ups!" in the early 2000s.  Dick John passed away in February, 2014.  Read Dick's memories of his time at WTVT in Newsroom, 1956

 

J.C. Johnson
This former production person lives in Sumter County. J.C. and his wife purchased a farm several years ago and are producing some alternative food for the area. (www.jaylorfarm.com).

 

Pete Johnson
Has a PR firm in Scottsdale, Arizona for the past 19 years. Pete is still an avid fly fisher. He's been married 25 years and has two boys, Adam and Zack.  One extra note...Pete appeared on the original "Captain Mac" show when he was a kid.  To read Pete's Sport Memories, CLICK HERE

 

Barbara Jones (deceased)
Ran the newsfilm processor back in the 50's, and was married to Bill Stokes (they had three children, now grown and provided seven grandchildren).  Barbara passed away in 2006.

 

Doug Jones
Doug worked for Big 13 three different times!   His first tour began in 1957 delivering the mail as a station page.  After graduating from high school in '59, he was hired into Production and worked for Dan Boger.  Doug later moved into Sales Services, then became a Creative Services Director.

He left for the agency business and returned for a second tour as Sales Development Manager, then Regional Sales Manager. Leaving WTVT again to assume the Local Sales Manager's position at Channel 8, Doug returned again to WTVT in 1982 as Promotion Manager. He later managed Southeast Broadcasting Company (ABC affiliate TV stations in Georgia and Alabama).

 

John Paul Jones
Was a reporter/photographer from 1971-1975, and Hillsborough County Bureau Chief his last year there. After leaving the station, he open a news bureau in Valdosta Georgia for WCTV, the CBS affiliate serving Tallahassee-Thomasville. In 1983 Jones became managing editor at WCTV. In 1985 he joined CBS News as a regional producer. Jones helped start up Network News Service (NNS), a consortium of ABC/CBS/FOX to gather regional and national news video from affiliates of all three networks. He retired from CBS in October 2008 after 23 years and now lives with his wife in Woodstock, GA, about 30 miles north of Atlanta in the foothills.  The Jones enjoy saltwater fishing and communing with nature.  JPJ's email is jpwoodstock@outlook.com

 

Ken Kalthoff
was a reporter in the 1980s. He's now at NBC5 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

 

Fred Keating
Fred left WTVT's production department in 1969 and moved to WXIA in Atlanta.  He spent the next 37 years in Atlanta as a producer/director before retiring and returning to Lutz in 2008.


Ronn Kilby
Was the station's art director 1987-1989. Among other things, he designed the "13" logo that is still in use, and all the "Eyewitness News" elements.  From Big 13, Ronn went to San Diego's ABC affiliate KGTV as writer-producer then Senior Creative Director. In 1993 he moved to the NBC San Diego O&O for 12 years as Manager, Advertising & Promotion. Ronn started his own small production company in 2005, The Studio at Kilby Pond, located north of San Diego (619) 794-7188  www.kilbypond.com

 

Jack King (Deceased)
Engineered Roy Leep's radar system in 1959, and worked in the ongoing maintenance and improvements of the weather department's equipment during the 60's and 70's.  Jack died in October, 2003.

Mike Kline
Was mostly nights and weekends in production from 1981 to 84.  For the past 30 years he has been involved with the printing and mapping industries.  Mike lives in Lutz, is married and has two sons.

 

Paul Koenig  (deceased)
Paul left broadcast television in 1980 and worked at GTE's Media Resources department until 1995.  Freelance directing projects with Busch Entertainment and GTE led to a shooting and editing position with The Directors, seen on Bravo and Encore.  In '99, Paul edited The American Muscle Car for the Speed Channel, and Offroad A to Z airing on Outdoor Life Network.  

Paul was awarded a Cine Golden Eagle in 2001 for editing "Alex's Journey," a drama about a boy who is diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Paul's married former BIG 13 employee Kathy Penley, and liveed in Clearwater beach with twosons.  Lee is at FSU Film School and Mark is at UCF's Drama School.  Paul received an Ernie for his service to WTVT in July, 2004.  Paul passed away from cancer on March 13, 2013, at the age of 69.

 

Bill Kowal  (Deceased)
Bill was one of "Roy's Boys" in the weather department during the 70's to the late 80's.  Bill returned to his native Chicago, and went to work for United Airlines.  He passed away in December, 2015.

Jerry Krumbholz
A graduate of the University of Tampa, Jerry joined WTVT as an announcer in 1956.  He as the one and only announcer for "3-D Danny," and appeared in many commercials and other on-air duties over a 30 year period.  Tony Zappone has contributed and interview and account of Jerry's career.  CLICK HERE TO READ "JERRY KRUMBHOLZ...SPEAKING OF CHANNEL 13"

 

Jim Larsen?

 

Deanna Lawrence
Soft-spoken Deanna was a reporter and weekend anchor from the mid 70's to the mid 90's. Deanna returned to the station in the late 90's to write and produce a regular feature called "What's right with Tampa Bay."  She retired in 2007.  (Pulse Extra! - Deanna is married to former Channel 13 Sports reporter John Brill).

 

Bob Lawson
Served for decades
in Fox 13's master control room.  He is now retired.

 

Roy Leep
Retired in 1997 after 40 years with Channel 13.  He holds the title of 'Weather Director Emeritus'.  Roy still lives in Tampa and is, to borrow a phrase, 'enjoying the weather.' To learn about Roy and his achievements over a 40 year career at Big 13, click here

 

Jim Lewis
Retired in October, 2003, after 34 years in engineering, directing, and master control.  Congratulations, Jim!

Robert Linabury
Was an early employee of Ch. 13,  starting in 1957.  Bob was a camera operator, worked projection, and later directed Mary Ellen, news blocks and the classic 'Shock Theatre.'

Bob left WTVT in 1964 and went to work for Maas Brothers.  A couple of years later, he was hired by WTVT's former spaceman, Ed Scott, to work with him as manager at Ed's Pipe and Tobacco shop, which was expanding with new manufacturing facilities.  Bob left there to go with South West Florida Blood Bank as director of 
group development. After 10 years the Los Angeles Red Cross recruited him to become director of hospital services.  Bob retired fand moved back to St. Pete and became a Licensed Massage Therapist.  Since retiring, Bob and his wife Lee have traveled extensively.

Marty Lochridge
One of Channel WTVT's 1960's staffers was an assistant to Maggie Kitchens' in the Film/Continuity Department.  Marty  now works in traffic at WTSP-TV, Channel 10 in St. Pete.

 

Bruce Lockwood 

A former director and assistant stage manager, Bruce left WTVT and became the production manager of WTOG.  While at Channel 44 Bruce was the host of "The Kid's Club" and played 'Captain Bruce' for a few months until he was replaced by Ronald McDonald reading the funnies.  Bruce then moved to Farmington, Maine where he was a lumberjack, a chicken sexer*, and a stripper (not the naked kind, but the print shop kind). For the last 22 years Bruce has worked at Grand Rapids Community College in their media department and is currently the director of Media Technologies. Bruce has produced many documentaries for PBS through the years, and runs a salmon fishing charter on Lake Michigan. He still enjoys photography and credits E. Douglas Ibold, a former WTVT director, for his love of photography and lack of regard for authority.
*According to Bruce, a chicken sexer checks the sex of newly born chickens.  I wondered what kind of experience you need to qualify for the job.

 

Joe Loughlin  

Went to WCBS-TV in New York as a local news anchor, and later re-joined Gaylord as General Manager of WVTV in Milwaukee, where he hired Scott Shuster as anchor for their 11 p.m. news.  Joe was later in upper management for WGN-TV in Chicago, and then in charge of communications for the Chicago Catholic Archdiocese.  Joe is now retired and living in Illinois.

 

Booker Lundy  
Retired in November of 2002 after being with the production crew for 30 years!

 

Ted Maley
Retired on Jan. 25th, 2008, after 30 years of service.

 

John 'Mak' Makinen
joined the station on April 1, 1964.  He started in the photography department ...eventually becoming chief photographer in the late 60's.  As ENG became a force at WTVT Mak built and maintained the various trucks, eventually becoming WTVT's senior SNG truck operator.  Mak retired on February 1, 2013.

 

Dave Markwood
Dave was on the production crew starting in the early 70's.  He later worked A/V for a hotel chain..

 

Duane Martin
Another 40+ year veteran serving the station in engineering. Duane is the morning shift's remote engineer, truck operator, audio man, video man, as well as 'Mr. Fix It.'  He keeps the Channel 13 chopper and remote equipment in tip top shape.  Duane retired in May, 2012

 

Mike McCall
Was a staff meteorologist and weather graphics supervisor in the weather department from 1988 to 1993.  In August of '93, Mike became the Chief Meteorologist at WCTV, the CBS affiliate in Tallahassee.  He's married and has three sons. (My Three Sons?)

 

Jule McGee
After celebrating his 40th anniversary with the station on February 22, 2007, Jule retired in the spring of 2008.
Read all about the fascinating career of JULE McGEE by CLICKING HERE

 

Bill McQueen
Worked in the newsroom from 1985 to 1988. His last job was producing the morning "Breakfast Beat" newscast.  After free-lancing and working at a Sarasota station, Bill formed his own company, Mercury Productions, in 1998. Mercury produces marketing, training and educational videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs. They also produce television commercials, video news releases and live events.

 

Tom McGuigan
This former production person is now with the Publix Supermarket video division.

 

Nelson Medina
After serving with Roy Leep from 1962-66,  Nelson returned to his profession of photographer. Some of Nelson's photographic work have been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Ringing Museum, among others.  His photographs have appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic, Franklin Mint, Popular Photography, and many others. He continued to be one of Tampa's most recognized portrait photographers, and continues this work in semi-retirement today. Nelson is a good friend of BIG 13's photographer group, including Tony Zappone, Terry Drymon, and Tommy Eure.

 

Eric Meindl 
Spent about six months at the ABC affiliate in Baton Rouge, then accepted a job with the National Weather Service (government) to produce and present "Aviation Weather" in Anchorage, AK.  While living in Alaska, Eric and his lovely wife Vickie adopted Patrick, who is 24 now.. After 3 1/2 years of frozen dinners, he transferred back to Slidell, LA (just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans), where he was a marine forecaster for NWS.  Then Eric moved on to the National Data Buoy Center (about 50 miles northeast of New Orleans) in 1986, and got promoted to Division Chief in 1992. He retired from there in 2004.  Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Meindl's home in 2005, and they resettled in South Carolina.  Sadly, Eric's wife Vickie passed away from cancer in March of 2010.

Phil Metlin
Phil was Executive Producer under News Director Jim West prior to the sale of WTVT to the Gillette organization.  Phil left at that point but returned in the 1990's when Fox Broadcasting purchased the station.  Phil retired from WTTG, Washington D.C., in August of 2013.

Ron Meyer
Is now a partner at the legal firm of Meyer and Brooks, P.A., in Tallahassee.  

Chris Miller

 Marvette Carter's former assistant in promotion left WTVT the first time in 1972 to become the Promotion Manager for WXEX-TV in Petersburg/Richmond, Virginia.    From WXEX, she went to WRNL/WRXL Radio to become Traffic Manager.....then returned to WTVT in 1976. In August of 1979, Jayne Boyd hired Chris for the position of Program Coordinator at WTSP-TV, Channel 10, in St. Petersburg.  She remained at WTSP-TV for 13 years and served also as Community Relations Coordinator and Commercial Services Coordinator until 12/24/89, when she was seriously injured in an automobile accident.  Chris spent most of the accident recovery time in the Cayman Islands, where she orchestrated the license acquisition process and subsequent licensure for CITV.   In 1992, she left the wonderful world of TV and entered the floral business, where she now owns Encore Florist in Tampa, Fla. (813) 254-8283.  A special bouquet to Chris for helping me with "WherAion manager Dan Boger, Merrily and her husband Dave Rosenblatt run Silver Screen Image Interactive, a new-media company specializing in CD-roms and DVD production.

 

Fred Mirliani
A former Tampa/Polk County reporter, Fred left WTVT in 1972 and relocated to Bostonís North End.  He and his family now reside in East Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He is the Director of Media Services at Childrenís Hospital in Boston

 

Randy Muncy
As of 2007 is living in Arkansas.

 

Gil Muro
Has been with NBC for 30 years as a Technical Director. He worked with the "Today" program for 11 consecutive years and traveled with them all over world to such places as Paris, Normandy (50th Anniversary of D-Day), Ireland, Scotland, London, South Africa, Cuba and Hawaii. Gil was also present for Bush Sr and both of Clinton's Inaugurations, 3 Super Bowls and the 1996 Olympics. He subbed on Saturday Night Live, Rosie O'Donnell, Phil Donahue, and spent one year on the Conan Show. Presently, Gil is assigned to NBC News Special Events and works in their newest digital control room (3A). He was involved with most of the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center Coverage and general breaking news as well.

 

Carol Mountain
Former production manager is now with an architectural firm in Hillsborough County.

 

Jack Murphy
Jack was an assignment editor who who was also very knowledgeable about political matters, local or state. He had a reputation as a stickler for accuracy and clarity.

 

Bill Napier  
Left "Big 13" in December of 1978 and moved to Charlotte, NC to become Technical Operations Manager for Jefferson Productions. Bill worked on high-end commercials and remote work for ABC including two Olympics jobs in 1980 and 1984. In 1984, Bill joined WBTV as Director of Engineering. In January 1999, he moved about 8 miles away to Bahakel Communications as Vice President Engineering and Technology for the 9 TV and 15 Radio stations, along with two cable operations. Bill performed a lot of industry type work for DTV implementation as well as engineering supervision.

Linda and Bill have been married 43 years and have 6 grandchildren (5 boys and a new little girl).

After 46 years in broadcasting Bill retired from Bahakel Communications in 2010 and has now traded in his airplane for an RV.  He and Linda completed a 14,500 mile drive to and around Alaska and plan many more such trips while they are still very young.

John S. Nicholson
An 11p.m. news anchor from 1978 to '82, John is a professor of broadcast journalism at Syracuse University and freelance event/show host for ESPN, OLN and USA network among others, as well as video/doc producer/writer and talent for various stations and organizations.

Davis Nolan
Worked under Roy Leep in the weather department from 1979-81.  Davis received his AMS Seal of Approval in 1979.  Davis joined WKRN TV, Nashville, in 1981. In 2005 Davis became one of the first in the nation to earn the new prestigious "Certified Broadcast Meteorologist" designation from the American Meteorological Society.

Bob Orick (Deceased)
Was on the crew from 1970 to '75.  Later, Bob was the production manager at CPN Television, a local production house in Clearwater, and then worked the TV Production department at St. Petersburg College, Seminole campus.  He died of cancer in 2005.

Nick Paul 
Served on the crew and on Vidifont until his retirement in the early 90's.  Nick still lives in Tampa a short distance from the station.

 

Kathy Penley
Since leaving television, Kathy has been in elementary and middle school education.  She and her husband, WTVT director Paul Koenig (deceased 2013)  have two sons who are involved in the arts.

 

Bobbi Peterson
One of our first female crew members, Bobbi Peterson-Oakley, lives in Boston with husband Bob (Bob and Bobbi?) and their 2 children.

 

Jerry Peterson  (Deceased)
Worked with Roy Leep in the late 1950s and early 60's.  He also spent time in Wichita Falls, Texas, Chicago, and Charlotte, S.C.  Jerry was with  WRHI AM and WRHM FM in Rock Hill, South Carolina for 21 years.  Jerry passed away at the age of 76 in December, 2010.

 

Richard (Dick) Pope (Deceased)
Dick joined the station in 1967 and spent his first few years as a remote engineer.  In later years he was assigned to the transmitter. Dick retired from the station in 1994 in Brandon with his wife Ruth.  Dick passed away in May, 2015.

 

Jerry Prater
Jerry came to Channel 13 in 1957  from another CBS affiliate,  WDBO-TV, channel 6, Orlando.  Walt Rhoads hired Jerry as a cameraman and stage manager.  Within two or three years Jerry transitioned into directing. Jerry left In 1966 for an advertising/PR job with a local wrestling promoter. In '75, he moved to Dixie County, keeping up a profitable working relationship with a wrestling outfit until it fell victim to a hostile takeover as the industry rapidly went national in 1987. At that time, Jerry took a job as a DJ/salesman at WLQH (AM 940) in Chiefland, which  was the only local station in the market at the time. He later moved on to WCWB-FM in  Trenton, the area's first FM. From there, he took a job as manager of WDFL AM/FM in  Cross City, where I stayed until the station was sold in 2000.  Currently, Jerry is a Dixie County Veterans Service Officer and a part-time sales rep for the Trenton radio station, WDJY.

George Prentis ?  editorial writer

Joe Puleo
Moved to New York and has been a cameraman for ABC, most often on the soap opera "All My Children." He has won 4 Emmys, 2 for sports and 3 for daytime drama. (In 2005, he was competing for an Emmy against former Channel 13 production person John Sizemore).  Joe also received a CEBA award, and a Peabody for 9/11 coverage. You can see his shorts (films...not underwear) "Someone Else" and "Grey Linen" on ifilm.com and pepper-view.com respectively. Both are on maniafilm.com, an Asian website playing to a world wide audiences.  Joe added directing to his daytime drama resume and completed a short film titled "The Day The Bread Turned Green" in 2009. Finally tired of those cold New York winters, Joe and his wife Pat retuned to Tampa in the fall of 2015.

 

Frank Rankel (Deceased)
WTVT's chief engineer in the 70's, Frank left to become a regional sales rep for Sony Broadcast.  He passed away in 2012. 

 

Mike Randall?

 

Rick Rea
Rick to work for WTVT on Nov. 17, 1970, and retired 37 years later on January 27,  2007.  Originally a tape op and engineer, Rick became assistant to the chief engineer and a mainstay for almost 40 years in engineering,  He is living in northern Florida. You can email Rick at rickrea@windstream.net

 

Crawford Rice
Was News Director (1958-60) and General Manager (1977-81) of WTVT. After supervising the station lineup for Gaylord Broadcasting, he retired in February, 1986.  During his tenure (1974-77) as G.M. of the Gaylord station in Tacoma, KSTW,  Mr. Rice and his wife Lydia lived in Bellevue, Washington before resettling in Houston, TX.  See an in depth interview with Crawford in the section of our web site called "A Conversation With Crawford Rice."

Frank Robertson
Frank joined Hugh Smith at the anchor desk in 1989.  He spent a short time in the sports department before returning to the news department and anchor desk.  Genial and known for his great sense of humor, Frank retired with honors on June 29, 2009.  In 2015, Frank and his lovely wife, former Fox 13 anchor Kathy Fountain, was M.C. for our WTVT 60th Anniversary Reunion.  He was sensational!

 

Ricc Rollins
Hosted a late night infotainment talk show, UpFRONT with Ricc Rollins on FOX 13 and was a senior producer on the Kathy Fountain Show. Currently, he is the CEO and President of Ishai, Inc., a multifaceted public relations and project development company; in addition to being a best selling author of three books and the senior Pastor of the Breath of Life Fellowship Community Church in Tampa.

 

Dave Rosenblatt
Worked in production from 1966-69.  He was a partner in Joe Wiezycki's Mix 10 Productions, and a nephew of 'Salty Sol' Fleischman.  Dave is married to former Creative Services employee Merrily Miller and today they run Silver Screen Image Interactive, a new-media company specializing in CD-roms and DVD production.

 

Linda Rossi
The first full-time woman in the production department, Linda moved to Los Angeles and worked at KNBC, Los Angeles, for twenty six years, finally retiring from her job as the morning supervisor for the KNBC news editorial department in January, 2007.   Linda met her future husband at WTVT...keep reading to find out who!

 

Jim Ruddle
Was teaching Journalism at the University of South Florida when WTVT's Jerry Peterson told him to come and take a look at working in television.  James ended up reporting, anchoring, and teaching.  He scheduled classes in the mornings and worked at 13 in the afternoons and evenings. "Hugh had the desk in Tampa," says James, "and I did the same from a pod studio in St. Pete for the hour-long "Pulse" program. I anchored at other times, but "Pulse" was our big show."  James worked at WTVT from 1963 to 1965. He later worked for Chicago's WMAQ and after retiring went sailing with layovers in St. Petersburg and Washington, D.C.  'Sailor' Jim finally settled in Rye, NY (portrayed in J.D. Salinger's book) in the early 90's and sails when the weather is good. In 2014 a complete PULSE newscast anchored by Jim in 1964 was digitally restored and posted on the historical website The Museum of Chicago Television.  Follow this link to see Jim and other Channel 13 legends Hugh Smith and 'Salty Sol' Fleishman. 1964 PULSE Newscast

 

Carol Sadler
Worked with Andy Hardy in sports and is now living in the Washington, D.C. area. 

Lesley Schissell 
Was WTVT's first female news anchor.  She is now Lesley J. Friedsam Damisch and a retired attorney.

 

Nancy Schubert
Served at the station from 1974-1979 as a promotion assistant to Marvette Carter. Nancy was promoted to senior promotion assistant. After leaving Channel 13, she headed up the City of St. Petersburg's Public Information Office, which included news supplied to her former colleagues Hugh Smith, Neil Vicino and Jule McGee. She later was director of public and government relations for the Tampa Port Authority and worked again with old WTVT news friends, including Jule, Duane Martin, and Mak Makinen.

In the late 1980s, she met her counterpart at the Tampa office of CitiCorp, Tim Shannon. They married in 1991.

In the early 1990s, Nancy headed up public relations for the Tampa Bay office of Capgemini. Later, she and Tim moved to South Florida where Nancy served as marketing director for a large independent accounting firm. In 1998 IBM made her an offer at its Atlanta operation. She accepted and Nancy and Tim have been there since. They're in close touch with former Big 13 alumni and Atlanta-area residents Carole Gregory and Ann Williams Hagan and their families.

Howard Shapiro
Retired from WTVT on October 23, 2009, after serving 35 years in the weather department.  To read Howard's story, CLICK HERE

 

Ed Shaw
This veteran engineer lives in Hiawassee, Ga.  Ed spent quite a lot of his time working with engineer Jack King in Roy Leep's weather department.

 

John Sherry
John worked at Big 13 as camera operator, floor director and director from 1961 to 1974.  Married to Sharon in 1962, John was running a live camera a year later when notified by his director, Dan Boger, that a call had come through the switchboard with some important news: his first child was about to be born!  John directed Ernie Lee and the gang on Breakfast Beat for 5 years and he also worked schedules for the other day and night shifts.  John fondly recalls doing the morning show live from the Florida State Fair when it was next to Tampa University,  Championship Wrestling From Florida at the Sportatorium after a live telecast of The Mary Ellen Show from the studio on Saturday mornings,  and Day Of Discovery remotes in Cypress Gardens. For the past two decades John has worked with the Dept. of  Vocational Rehabilitation in Tampa. He helps persons with disabilities in education transition back into employment.  John and Sharon now have 4 grandchildren.

Linda Shipman

Linda worked as a stringer in Pasco County from 1974 to 1976 and has been a portrait photographer for the past 30+ years and lives in Texas.  Since 2005 Linda has been manager of a nationwide portrait photography company's local studio.
dogandbirdlady@hughes.net


Scott Shuster
In 1977, Scott went to work for National Public Radio (NPR) as producer for "All Things Considered."  He then served as a foreign correspondent for ABC Radio, and reported to them from over 40 countries. Scott is now a world-respected host and moderator of industry specific management discussions.  To find out what the heck that means, go here: www.leadingauthorities.com/search/biography.htm?s=5641 .  OR, you can read about Scott's incredible career in "News"

 

John Sizemore
Was with NBC, Los Angeles, for over 30 years.  He has been a cameraman and technical director for "Days Of Our Lives" over 25 years.  John is a street-level camera operator for NBC's coverage of the Rose Parade.  In 2004, he traveled to Athens for camera work on the Summer Olympics, and later received an Emmy award..  John met Linda Rossi at WTVT and they celebrated 30 years of marriage in 2009.  John and Linda have two sons, Matt and Ross.  Matt is currently a sports anchor for a station in Monterey, CA.

 

Bill Small? - Reporter

 

Hugh Smith (Deceased)
Our former anchor and news director died in December of 2007.  You can read about Hugh's career HERE

 

Ken Smith
One of the original WKY gang who migrated to Tampa in 1957, Ken spent 12 years at Big 13, eventually becoming production manager.  He moved to Orlando to join WESH-TV and retired from there in 1993.  Ken received an "Ernie" award at the 2003 reunion for his production stint at WTVT.  Read about Ken's 12 years at WTVT in KEN SMITH ON 3-D DANNY.  Ken's wife is former Channel 13 'Year One' employee Jeri Bunt.  Read her story in "Jeri Bunt...Channel 13's Cover Girl"

 

Tim Smith
Left Big 13 in 1981 and worked in television news in Greenville/Spartanburg; Raleigh/Durham; and Dallas/Fort Worth, doing everything from anchoring newscasts to economic/business reporting to assistant news director. After 19 years of news -- Tim joined American Airlines in Fort Worth as a Corporate Communications spokesperson in 1990.  In 1999, he became Director of Corporate Communications for Brinker International in Dallas, parent company of  of 1,200 restaurants.  Since 2003, Tim has been working as Director of Public Relations for InterStar Marketing and Public Relations in Fort Worth. 

Cy Smith
Was an editorial researcher and writer and also an assignment editor.  He is now living in northern Florida.
 

Scott Sobel
A reporter and anchor from 1980-82, Scott went to the CBS affiliate in Denver for 10 years as a reporter and then to Boston where he opened a whole grain bakery chain. Scott's last work in TV was segment producing for NBC's Real Life in Boston and the local Channel 7 investigative unit. 

Scott is now vice president for a litigation public relations and crisis communications firm (and probably pretty busy!).

Leslie Spencer
The former anchor of PULSE PLUS! worked in Corporate Communications for Publix Supermarkets.  She is now retired..

 

Bill Stokes
WTVT's first weatherman left in 1957 and went to WSOC-TV in Charlotte, NC.  Twenty years later, Bill returned to Florida as a federal employee with the Army Reserve. Since 1983, he has been a freelance writer in Lady Lake, Florida.  Luckily, he escaped any damage from the tornados there in 2007.

Rob Sweeting
Is a reporter/anchor at WJXT in Jacksonville.

 

Paul Tanofsky
Is a sales representative for Frontline Communications, a company that engineers television ENG remote trucks in Clearwater. (Big 13 web master Mike Clark took the tour of Frontline and reports it was amazing!!)

 

Sharon Taylor
A popular Assignment Editor at WTVT in the late 1980's, Sharon is now a star on the morning radio beat at WFLA radio.  She co-stars with another former 13er, Jack Harris, and Tedd Webb.


Sherry Taylor
After leaving 13 in 1978, Sherry spent a year at WEDU, Channel 3 in Tampa, then moved to Tulsa and earned a teaching degree. She married in 1980 and has a daughter, Charity, 20.  Along the way, Sherry owned a bookstore for two years and worked for Weight Watchers for 7 years. According to her Email, Sherry has become a jack of all trades, and works in a church as a children's minister   Her most recent claim to fame was the publication of a book entitled "Dance With Me" in the genre of women's fiction. Sherry still love sports, and says it is required since her Canuck husband Duane is a hockey freak. They live on Lake Lanier in the Northeast Georgia mountains. 

Theresa Varga
The Tampa Bay area's first television meteorologist, Theresa worked for Roy Leep from 1990-91 and after a brief layoff due to WTVT's changes in management, joined the weather department again from 1993-95.  From there she went to CLTV in Oakbrook IL for 6 months, then to WBTV in Charlotte, NC from 1995-98.  In 1998 Theresa moved to WTNH in New Haven, CT , where she worked with Geoff Fox and Mel Goldstein.  Theresa and Dr. Mel wrote and illustrated The Idiots Guide to Weather.  In 1999 Thersa left WTNH for Minnesota to wed Stephen Kavouras.  They now have 5 children.  Theresa works from home with ScrapGirls.com as a scrapbook designer and message board manager.

 

Neil Vacino
Teaches journalism at the University of South Florida

 

Dora & Otto Walters? - Sarasota/Bradenton stringers

 

Charles Wilson ? - Reporter

Alan Wendt
After 24 years in news  (7 in Lakeland radio and 17 with WTVT) Alan and his wife Susan turned their attention to developing Wendt Productions. The company's focus is marketing, advertising and PR for the recreational marine industry, which includes publishing Sea Ray Getaways magazine.  Their clients also include financial institutions, restaurant chains, and telephone on hold messages.  You can see Wendt Production's web site at www.wendtproductions.com

 

Bob West
One of our favorite directors is retired and living in Tampa.

 

Jim West
A former WTVT anchor and news director, Jim was the co-founder of the Worship and the PraiseTV channels currently featured on Dominion Sky Angel satellite. 

 

Marc Wielage
Moved to Los Angeles and became one of the industry's top digital colorists.  His work was seen in the Kevin Costner film "Open Range."  He has freelanced for Luscasfilm on the DVD release of "Return of the Jedi" and "Star Wars."  

Wayne Wiggins
Worked for WTVT from April, 1968, until July, 1984. Wayne's time was mostly spent on the morning shift, starting on camera and eventually directing the A.M. Show and Breakfast Beat. Wayne is still in television and contracted to direct commercials for Anheuser-Bush, Corona Beer and Carnival. He also Executive Produced Documentaries for the BBC, Discovery and The History Channel. 

Landis Wilkinson  ?

 

Ann Williams
Worked at the CBS Bureau in Atlanta.  After her marriage to Jimmy Hagan (who sadly passed away from cancer in 2008), they moved to Stone Mountain.  Son Lee grew up and serves the military as a meteorologist (reserve).  Lee graduated police academy in 2013 and has worked in law enforcement in San Bernardino, Ca., and Stone Mountain, GA.  He and wife Rebecca will present Ann with a grandchild in June, 2016. Do other 'Big 13ers'  remember Ann's cutie-pie daughter Dawn?  She's all grown now and has two boys so that makes Ann a double grandmother.

Bill Witt
WTVT's first Chief Engineer (under Gaylord Broadcasting) served Channel 13 from 1956 through 1966.  Bill was sent by Gaylord to their new UHF affiliate in Milwaukee.  He retired in 1982 and lives in the Milwaukee area.

Tom Wright
Was news director from 1963-66, then moved to Chicago to work for United Airlines.


Louis Young 
A Channel 13 reporter in the early 1980s, Louis is a longtime reporter at WCBS-TV in New Yawk.

Patricia (Pat) Young (deceased)
Joined WTVT in the early 70's.  According to former reporter Charles Allen, "Pat processed, indexed and filed our news film. She was a hard-working, dedicated person who was liked by all."  Pat left the world much too young in 1976.


Tony Zappone
Was a news stringer in 1965 while in high school.  He returned 11 years later as newsfilm correspondent for Pulse News, 1976-1982. Did many enterprise features plus took orders from the news assignment desk. 

Today, Tony owns an advertising agency but mainly handles commercial real estate management and investments for his personal portfolio and others. Shoots an occasional photo for Tampa and St. Petersburg newspapers, something he started doing over 40 years ago.

Tony has written an exclusive first-person account of the day President John F. Kennedy visited Tampa (11/18/63).  Not only did young Tony (age 16 at the time) meet JFK, he got some ONE OF A KIND photographs.  To read "JFK, As I Remember Him, by Tony Zappone," CLICK HERE

Fred Zoller
Is an art director in London, England.  Fred has sired many children!

 

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