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WTTA is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for the Tampa Bay Areamarker that is licensed to St. Petersburgmarker. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 38 from a transmitter is located in Bloomingdalemarker. Owned by Bay Television, the station is operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group through a local marketing agreement (LMA). WTTA has studios on Bald Cypress Place in the West Park section of Tampamarker. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, Family Feud, The People's Court, and Judge Mathis. On cable, it can be seen on Bright House and Knology channel 6, Comcast channel 11 in Sarasota County, and Comcast channel 29 in Hardee Countymarker.

History

Channel 38 had previously been home to the area's first television station, WSUN-TV, which operated from 1953 to 1970. WSUN Channel 38 also served as the area's first ABC affiliate until WLCY Channel 10 (known today as WTSP) signed on in 1965 making WSUN an independent until going dark in 1970. In 1986, a local group won a new license for channel 38. WTTA was originally scheduled to sign-on in the Fall of 1990 with programming from the "Star Television Network" which offered a mix of old programming and infomercials under the "TV Heaven" name. In September of 1990, there was also an ad for "TV Heaven 38" in the Tampa / Sarasotamarker edition of TV Guide magazine. However, the station not ready to broadcast yet since Star was in financial trouble (it went dark January 16, 1991). On June 21 of that year, WTTA began its regular broadcasting schedule consisting mainly of syndicated shows passed over by other stations, barter programming, uncleared network shows, and infomercials. Due to the station's low budget, weekend programming tended to consist entirely of infomercials. WTTA also presented a televised version of WRBQ's morning radio program, Q Morning Zoo, until that station changed formats to country music in the early-1990s. In December 1994, Fox programming moved from WFTS-TVmarker to WTVTmarker as part of a group deal with WTVT's then-owners, New World Communications.

Upon the changeover, WTVT did not did not pick up Fox Kids, which was passed over to WTTA. Fox Kids would later move to Independent station WMOR-TVmarker, which also aired the later 4Kids TV block on Sunday mornings until its shutdown on December 28, 2008.

At the same time, the E.W. Scripps Company (owners of WFTS) cut an affiliation deal with ABC which resulted in WFTS selling most of its syndicated shows to WTTA. Meanwhile, CBS would move from WTVT to WTSP-TVmarker the previous ABC affiliate. In 1998, WTTA’s owner (Bay Television) entered into a management agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group which in years to come would become one of the nation's largest broadcast companies. However, Bay Television is effectively a subsidiary of Sinclair. Bay Television is owned by David Smith, J. Duncan Smith, Frederick Smith, Robert Smith, and Robert Simmons. The Smith brothers also control Sinclair making Bay Television a de facto subsidiary of Sinclair. Also in 1998, WTTA became the Tampa Bay affiliate for The WB in a group deal with Sinclair stations. It used the on-air moniker "WB 38". It ran cartoons from WB during the week until January 2006 when WB discontinued the weekday kids block. On January 24, The WB and UPN announced that they would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents, CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. On February 22, News Corporation announced that they would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV.

This new service, which would be a sister network to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division, Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming independent. It was also created to compete against The CW. Tampa Bay's UPN station, WTOGmarker (which is owned by CBS) was confirmed as Tampa Bay's CW station. WTTA's future was uncertain until Sinclair announced that WTTA, along with most of Sinclair's WB and UPN affiliates, would affiliate with MyNetworkTV. The station branded as "My TV Tampa Bay" a week before the station began to air the new network. There were rumors that Fox would buy WTTA and create a duopoly with WTVT and make WTTA a MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station. As of 2009, this has not occurred. On September 3, 2007, WTTA began airing the controversial Live Prayer with Bill Kellermarker. Keller had been bounced from station to station in the Tampa Bay area and landed on WTTA after a sudden departure from WTOG. The show would move to WXPXmarker in November 2007 after WTTA imposed new restrictions regarding live programming. Like most Sinclair-owned stations, WTTA has broadcast digital-only since February 17, 2009. The station and competing CW affiliate WTOG moved back to their respective stations original analog channels at the end of the U.S. analog shutdown in 2009 because of the FCC auctioning UHF channels 52-69 for non-television use. Originally, the station had aired a digital signal on UHF channel 57 before moving back to channel 38.

  • In October, 2009 the FCC approved the request by WTTA to relocate to channel 32 to avoid adjacent channel problems WTTA had from WFTV 39 Orlando.


News operation

In August 2003, WTTA started a news department and launched a 10 P.M. newscast (known as WB 38 News at 10) as part of Sinclair's News Central operation. Local news originated from WTTA's studios while national news, sports, and weather broadcasted from Sinclair's headquarters in Baltimoremarker. This made WTTA one of a few WB stations to offer news. The newscast and WTTA's news department was shut down on March 31, 2006 due to poor ratings. It was replaced with syndicated programming. On October 8, 2007, evening news programming returned to WTTA. Sinclair and NBC affiliate WFLA-TVmarker entered into a news share agreement and a weeknight 10 o'clock newscast produced by WFLA debuted on WTTA. It featured anchors Peter Bernard and Katie Coronado with weather from Mace Michaels or Leigh Spann. The 10 P.M. news aired from WFLA's studios on South Parker Street in downtown Tampa. The WFLA / WTTA news share agreement was similar to those established at Sinclair stations in Raleighmarker, Buffalo, Flintmarker, Charlestonmarker, and Las Vegasmarker. The WFLA/WTTA news share ended April 30, 2009.

Past personalities

  • Susan Casper - anchor and investigative reporter
    • went to WFTSmarker as a reporter / fill-in anchor
    • no longer there
  • David Klugh - anchor
  • Summer Smith - anchor
    • now at Bay News 9 as a reporter and fill-in anchor
  • Wendy Brockman - anchor
  • Jennifer Gladstone - national news
  • Morris Jones - national news
  • Megan Glaros - meteorologist
    • now at WCBS-TVmarker as a meteorologist
  • Jon Leiberman - Washington D.C.marker correspondent
  • Jonas Schwartz - national sports
  • Mike Nabors - sports
  • John McQuiston - freelance reporter
    • now at WFTS-TVmarker as a freelance traffic anchor
  • Chris Garrido - sports
  • Mark Hyman - "The Point" segment producer
  • Dawn Pellas - reporter / fill-in anchor
    • went to WFTS-TVmarker as a reporter
    • no longer there
  • Tara (Feather) Donovan - reporter and weekend producer
    • now Director of Resource Development at United Way of Manatee Countymarker
  • Jason Goodwin - reporter
    • now at WPIXmarker as a writer / producer
  • Diolinda Vaz - reporter
    • now media consultant in Bostonmarker
  • Rodney Tims - reporter


External links




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