FIRST ON THE BLOG (other than Florida NewsCenter): It looks like WFLA is ready to take advantage of having WTTA as its sister station and will do so in form of an hour-long, nightly primetime newscast.
Starting Monday January 4th, 2016, WFLA 8 will air an hour-long primetime newscast at 8:00pm for its sister station, WTTA 38 which is known as Great 38 and is affiliated with My Network TV. NewsChannel 8 at 8:00 on Great 38 will be on the air nightly, including weekends, creating Tampa Bay’s first and ONLY nightly primetime newscast at 8:00pm. The newscast will be anchored by Bay News 9-exer and longtime Tampa Bay TV veteran Jenn Holloway and WFOR 4 (CBS) in Miami-exer Josh Benson with StormTeam 8 Weather from AMS-CBM/Sealed Meteorologist Julie Phillips.
These are basically somewhat promotions for all three. Jenn is moving from anchoring WFLA’s syndicated lifestyle morning program, Daytime, to helm the new 8:00pm newscast while Josh is adding the 8:00pm newscast to his two other anchoring duties on weekdays at 4:00pm with longtime WFLA 8 veteran Stacie Schaible (who’s been at the station since January of 2000, according to WFLA.com and also anchors the 6:00pm news with Keith Cate) and weeknights at 5:30pm with another longtime WFLA 8 veteran Jennifer Leigh (who’s been at the station since 1993, also according to WFLA.com and also anchors the 5:00 and 11:00pm news with Keith Cate and the 7:00pm news solo). Julie will now go from part-time at 4:00pm and full-time on weekend evenings to completely full-time on weekdays at 4:00 and weeknights at 8:00pm (Steve Jerve will remain as StormTeam 8‘s AMS-CBM/Sealed Chief Meteorologist and remains on weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 7:00 and 11:00pm).
This is also a promotion for WTTA 38 itself as before this, it used to air a half-hour weekly news/talk/discussion program called Great 38 News NOW, which aired Sunday nights at 7:00pm with Jenn Holloway, who will now helm the new 8:00pm newscast starting Monday January 4th, 2016.
However, there is no word as to who will anchor the weekend editions of the newscast because the newscast will be added to weekends as well, providing a nightly hour-long newscast at 8:00pm on WTTA 38 in Tampa Bay. As far as Florida is concerned, this will be the state’s first and ONLY primetime newscast at 8:00pm since all other markets don’t do primetime newscasts at all (unless if you count Cable in Tampa Bay on Bay News 9, Central Florida on News 13 or in Southwest Florida/Suncoast on SNN).
But for those with over-the-air in Tampa Bay, yet an even later early-evening (or earlier late night) primetime newscast will serve with good terms for those living in the rapidly expanding #11 DMA market.