Bay News 9

Bay News 9

call_letters = Bay News 9
(Bright House cable only)
station_slogan = Your News Channel
station_branding = Bay News 9
analog = cable 9
(cable 6 in Pasco County)
digital = cable 609
affiliations =
founded = September 8, 1997
location = St. Petersburg, Florida
callsign_meaning =
owner = Bright House Networks
former_affiliations =
homepage = []

Bay News 9 is a cable-based television news station located in St Petersburg, Florida. It currently serves the Tampa Bay Area including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Polk, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties.

It was originally created by cable service operator Time Warner, which managed the system at the time and now is the main content provider for the new system known as Bright House Networks, to make local news available continuously throughout this fast-growing region. Former WTSP news anchor Al Ruechel was one of its first anchors and remains with the operation. Four original anchors remain with the station: Ruechel, Jen Holloway, Mike Clay and Alan Winfield. Winfield only works during hurricanes after leaving the station full time in 2006 to join a religious ministry. One of the original reporters, Chuck Johnson, also remains with Bay News 9. According to the St. Pete Times, Jen Holloway will be leaving the station by the end of 2008 to pursue more time marketing a product that she invented. Weekend morning anchor, Erica Riggins will take over her spot [] .

General Manager Elliot Wiser came from Seattle to create the station. His drawing of the original wheel remains on the wall of the station hallway. Wiser also created the Bay News 9 weather channel, a Spanish service, the on-demand channels and the web site. He also created a 24-hour sports channel called "Catch 47" (later renamed Bright House Sports Network).

The station began operating on September 24, 1997 and gives weather updates every ten minutes "on the nines" and more frequently during unusual weather conditions. In 2002, it was first in the area to provide a VIPIR Doppler radar system. In 2007, Bay News 9 became the first station in Florida and only a handful of stations to provide a Dual-Pole Doppler Radar system [] .

It is seen on channel 9 on all systems, except for Pasco County, where it's seen on channel 6 (WTSP is on channel 9, due to its transmitter location). Using cutting edge technology, that has been copied by CNN Headline News, the newscasts are recorded for repeat broadcasts with breaking news and weather forecasts inserted almost hourly. Frequent weather reports are taped for convenience of staff. That's why they always say, '19 minutes past the hour'.


* Bay News 9's Logo, designed by J.C. Burns of Atlanta, has remained the same since 1997.
* Bay News 9 has had one slogan change since 1997, which occurred in 2002 just before the first graphics/music overhaul. Originally the slogan was "Your News All The Time." Today, it's "Your News Channel."
* The station does not staff the assignment desk, reporters, photographers, management, weather staff nor producers after the 11 p.m. sports show ends. The station airs pre-recorded content from that time (Your Evening News replay from 8pm) until they update it again at 5 a.m. the following day.

Programming Information

Newscasts and Segments

Bay News 9 provides the following newscasts and segments as part of its 24-hour news cycle.

"Your Morning News"

Your Morning News began airing in 2000 and provides news, traffic, and weather from 5 to 9 a.m. on weekdays. There is also a weekend edition that airs from 6 to 10 a.m.

In June 2008, Bay News 9 began airing traffic updates six times an hour, as opposed to four times an hour (which was the standard since the station's inception). Updates now occur right after the weather segments at :00 and :30 past the hour, as well as the usual :07, :17, :37, and :47 past the hour.

"Your Evening News"

Your Evening News also began airing in 2000. Live news and weather updates are provided at 5, 6, and 7 p.m., with a continuous replay cycle from 8 p.m. until 5 (or 6) a.m., excluding times when the "Toyota Sports Connection" airs.

"The 7:00 News"

In 2003, Bay News 9 introduced "The 7:00 News," a prime-time newscast that provides breaking news, the day's top stories and a national news segment called 'The Nightly News Digest'. This separate newscast has since been immersed into "Your Evening News", which has aired since 2000.

"The 10:00 News"

The 10:00 News was part of a short-lived primetime lineup that aired from 2000 to 2003. The hour-long newscast was originally preceded by another one-hour counterpart called "9 at Nine," which ended in 2002.

"Health Team 9"

In 1999, Bay News 9 introduced a team of experts who report on a variety of medical issues. Six of the "Health Team 9" members are licensed physicians who report the latest medical news on "Health Team 9 Health Watch" every morning. The seventh member is a health reporter who reports on medical headlines during "Health Team 9 Medical Beat" during the primetime news. One of the original "Health Team 9" members, Dr. Joette Giovinco, now works for WTVT.


These short, four to five minute reports have long since been a staple of Bay News 9. They are primarily geared towards an array of lifestyle topics (except the "Extra on Special Assignment" report, which is directed towards fluff stories).

Current EXTRAS

*Multi-day reports.
**Health Team 9 Health Watch - Health Issues - Reported by the Health Team 9 team of doctors - Airs Monday-Friday at :42/hour, 5am-5pm.
**Health Team 9 Medical Beat - Medical Headlines - Reported by Melissa Eichman - Airs Monday-Friday at :53/hour, 5pm-5am.
**EXTRA on Special Assignment - - Airs Sunday-Thursday at :53/hour, 5pm-5am.
***Every Wednesday is a transportation report titled "Getting There", which highlights major roadway projects and other traffic-related issues.
***Every Sunday is a technology report titled "Technology and You", which highlights different technologies that can make a difference in today's world. Sometimes, local inventors and companies are profiled in this report.

*Weekly reports
**EXTRA on Getting There - Component to "EXTRA on Special Assignment" and mainly focuses on Transportation-related issues - Airs Wednesday evenings at :42/hour.
**EXTRA on Everyday Heroes - People who make a difference in the community - Reported by Leigh Moody - Airs Monday mornings at :53/hour.
**EXTRA on the Web - Website profiles/reviews - Reported by Al Ruechel - Airs Tuesday mornings at :53/hour.
**The Chef's Kitchen - Delectable cuisines and recipes - Hosted by Roy DeJesus - Airs Wednesday mornings at :53/hour. "Note: Floyd the Food Guy recipes are still available on Tampa Bay On Demand.
**Mrs. Fixit - Home Improvement Tips - Syndicated feature hosted by Mrs Fixit (Terri McGraw) - Airs Thursday mornings and Sunday evenings at :53/hour.
**EXTRA on the Town - Weekend event calendar - Reported by Jen Holloway - Airs Friday mornings at :53/hour.
**EXTRA on Demand - A look at new services on Bright House's interactive local guides (B.H. Channels 340/341/342) - Airs Friday evenings at :23/hour.
**Health Team 9 on Fitness - Fitness/Exercise/Dieting tips - Airs Saturday mornings at :53/hour.
**Florida on a Tankful - Similar to WTVT's One Tank Trips - Airs Saturday mornings at :53/hour.
**EXTRA on the Water - Fishing tips - Airs Saturday evenings at :23/hour.
**EXTRA on Gardening - After sitting on hiatus since 2004, this EXTRA report has recently made a comeback. Hosted by [| Tom MacCubbin] - Airs Saturday evenings at :53/hour.
**Health Team 9 Headlines (Commonly known as Health Team 9 Health Watch (report)) - Melissa Eichman looks at the past week in health - Airs Sunday mornings at :42/hour.
**Dining Out with Mike Reeves - Revamped from its former form, EXTRA on the Town Dining, This EXTRA still profiles Bay Area eateries - Hosted by Mike Reeves from Q105 - Airs Sunday mornings at :53/hour.

Please note that :##/hour means :## past the hour. Example: :42/hour means :42 past the hour.

In March 2008, Bay News 9 revamped its news cycle, eliminating the "Beyond the Bay" segment at :42 past the hour and replacing it with the EXTRA segment from :23 past the hour. The segment at :23 past the hour is now local news coverage. In recent years, weekend traffic reports were also eliminated to expand local news coverage. The format returns to the "original" news cycle, with EXTRAS appearing at :23 and :53 past the hour during the primetime and overnight newscasts.


**EXTRA on Your Health - 1997-1999 - Cancelled after "Health Team 9" was formed.
**EXTRA on Today's Woman - 2000-2004
**EXTRA on Gardening (1st Incarnation) - 1999-2004
**EXTRA on Your Home - 1998-2002
**EXTRA on Your Kids - 1997-2004
**EXTRA on Your Plate - 2002-2007

Other Programs

In addition, Bay News 9 provides two content-exclusive programs which air regularly.

"Toyota Sports Connection"

The long-running sports-theme program airs every night at 11 p.m. (originally, the show aired at 10:30 p.m.). The show focuses mainly on local sports but also big national sports stories. Its original host was former Tampa Bay Buccaneer David Logan, but Rock Riley took over when Logan died in 1999.

"The David Logan Scholarship"

"Political Connections"

In 2005, as part of a partnership between Bay News 9 and the St. Petersburg Times, a new, half-hour, political themed show, "Political Connections", was introduced. The show is hosted by Al Ruechel and airs every Sunday at 11 a.m. (with a replay at 6:30 p.m.). St. Pete Times contributor, Adam Smith, serves as a co-host and regularly introduces the lead guest on the show. In addition, there is also a commentary entitled "On the Soapbox", a weekly Viewer Center question (where viewers can voice their opinions), and the week's political headlines. There are also two political analysts who make regular appearances on the show. Former Florida Governor, Bob Martinez serves as Bay News 9's Republican Analyst, while former Tampa City Council member, Bob Buckhorn serves as the Democratic analyst.

Affiliated Stations

Bay News 9 offers an HD channel and several content-exclusive and On Demand channels available only to cable subscribers.

Bay News 9 HD (Channel 609)

The HD counterpart of the 24-hour news channel rolled out in spring 2006, along with a round of graphics changes.

Bay News 9 en Español (Channel 139)

A 24-hour Spanish news channel that was launched in 2002. Unlike its English counterpart, the station reports on exclusive stories that meet the needs of Tampa's Spanish-speaking population. The segments and format of both "Bay News 9" and "Bay News 9 en Español" are similar. "Bay News 9 en Español" is notable in that it is the first of its kind 24-hour local news channel in the nation [] .

Key Personalities (BN9 en Español)

Current Personalities

*Lydia Guzmán - Anchor
*Sandra Pinto - Reporter
*Roy De Jesús - Sports Anchor/Reporter

Past Personalities

*Gloria Montoya - Anchor - 2002-2003
*Carleth Keys - Anchor/Managing Editor - 2002-2006
*Lourdes Stefen - Reporter - 2002-2003
*Paola Stefan - Anchor/Reporter - 2003-2005
*Keyla Concepción - Anchor/Reporter - 2004-2006
*Enrique Pantera - Reporter - 2004-2005
*Mariela D'Avila - Reporter - 2004
*Gissele Mariano - Anchor - 2005
*Oscar Dawson - Reporter - 2005

Bay News 9 Travel Weather Now (Channel 109)

The 24-hour weather network was originally conceived as "Bay News 9 Weather Now", and only provided a 24-hour local forecast after its initial launch in 1999. The network was revamped in 2004 and re-launched as "Bay News 9 Travel Weather Now", a 24-hour weather network geared primarily towards business travelers.

Bay News 9 On Demand (Channel 342)

Originally part of Tampa Bay On Demand, the news archive reports were consolidated into their own channel in mid 2006. In addition to the news archive (which includes archived video news reports and long-form programming {such as Suncoast Tiger Bay Club's political events}), other news programming and resources have been added to the new channel.

Local Partnerships

Bay News 9 has partnerships with various local newspapers and radio stations, including:

*St. Petersburg Times
*Citrus County Chronicle
*The Bradenton Herald
*The Ledger (Lakeland)
*Tampa Bay Business Journal
*WSJT 94.1 FM


Main Studio

In June 2005, Bay News 9 moved from its original studios in Pinellas Park to a larger facility at the Carillon Office Complex in St. Petersburg (where Bright House Networks has its main St. Pete offices.) The new studio houses the latest in broadcasting technology, including large display screens in the main newsroom that show the latest breaking news headlines from various sources at one time (similar to CNN's The Situation Room.) The facility also houses four studios, a web center, and a large master control room, complemented by two smaller control rooms. The newsroom also features a large faux balcony wall with images of the Tampa area on it.

Most notably, the station was able to transition to the new facility without going off the air, thanks to the studio's new technologies. The final newscast in the old studio aired on the morning of June 27, 2005. The new facility became fully operational at 3:00pm the same day, with the airing of its first afternoon newscast.

In April 2006, Bay News 9 received a Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award in the category of station automation for its streamlined newscasts and the technology that makes those newscasts possible.

County Bureaus

*Pinellas County bureau. Located at Bay News 9's Carillon studios (St. Petersburg).
*Hillsborough County bureau. Located in Tampa.
*Polk County bureau. Located in "The Ledger" Newsroom in Lakeland.
*Manatee County bureau. Located in Bradenton.
*Pasco County bureau. Located in New Port Richey.
*Hernando County bureau. Located in Spring Hill.
*Citrus County bureau. Located in "The Citrus County Chronicle" Newsroom Crystal River.
*Tallahassee bureau. Located in Tallahassee and shared with Orlando's Central Florida News 13.


Main Studio Articles

*1> [ Tampa Bay News 9 Wins 2006 Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award With OmniBus Automation]
*2> [ Bay News 9 shifts to automated server-based facility]

Tallahassee Bureau Articles

*1> [ Bay News 9 opening Tallahassee bureau]

Television Personalities


*Jen Holloway, weekday morning anchor
*Al Ruechel, weekday afternoon/primetime anchor, host of "Political Connections"
*Leigh Moody, weekday primetime co-anchor, overnight anchor
*Erica Riggins, weekend morning/afternoon anchor, reporter
*Rick Elmhorst, weekend primetime/overnight anchor, reporter

*Mike Clay, (AMS Certified) chief meteorologist
*Juli Marquez, (AMS Certified) morning meteorologist
*Josh Linker, (AMS Certified) morning/evening meteorologist
*Brian McClure, (AMS Certified) evening meteorologist
*Diane Kacmarik, (AMS Seal of Approval) fill-in meteorologist
*Alan Winfield, (AMS Seal of Approval) hurricane coverage (former chief)

*Jennifer Anderson, Manatee County reporter (also fills in for anchors)
*Dalia Dangerfield, Pinellas County reporter
*Laurie Davison, general assignment reporter
*Melissa Eichman, health reporter (also fills in for anchors)
*Tim Harper, traffic reporter - weekday afternoons
*Barbara A. Hart, traffic reporter - fill-in
*Samantha Hayes, national political reporter
*Chuck Henson, traffic reporter - fill-in
*Tucker James, traffic reporter - fill-in
*Chuck Johnson, Hillsborough County reporter
*Michelle Kay, Pasco County reporter
*Troy Kinsey, political reporter (also reporter for Central Florida News 13)
*Jason Lanning, general assignment reporter
*Lesley Lacey, traffic reporter - weekday mornings
*Emily Maza, Manatee County reporter
*Carol Minn Vacca, general assignment reporter
*Denise Moore, traffic reporter - fill-in
*Jonathan Petramala, Citrus County reporter
*Josh Rojas, general assignment reporter
*Summer Smith, general assignment reporter (also fills in for anchors)
*Kathryn Simmons, general assignment reporter
*Melissa Sogegian, Polk County reporter
*Anna Tataris, general assignment reporter
*Ferdinand Zogbaum, Hernando County reporter

Sports Anchors
*Rock Riley, sports director/anchor
*Joe Girvan, sports anchor/reporter

Notable alumni

*Tanya Arja - (1997-2001) general assignment reporter. Serving as a reporter for WTVT.
*Susana Baylon - (1997-2000) weekday morning anchor.
*Deborah Bowden - (1997-2001) weekend anchor, Serving as weekend anchor for WTVT.
*Susan Casper - afternoon anchor/general assignment reporter (1997-2003). Serving as a general assignment reporter/fill-in anchor for WFTS.
*Greg Davis - general assignment reporter (1998-2000); sports reporter/producer (2000-2002)
*Jenny Dean - anchor (various times) (2000-2005). Serving as a co-host for WTBT/103.5 FM (US 103.5) in Tampa as of January 2006. "Ocaissionally fills in for Erica Riggins on the weekends"
*Brenda Fazzini - traffic director/general assignment reporter (1997-2003)
*Sondra Guffey - business reporter (2000-2002)
*Jack Harris - Extra on Dining (2002-2005). Now at WFTS.
*Bob Hunt - Reporter (Polk County) Now owns Video Production Company and teaches Video Production at Genius DV in Orlando, Florida.
*Cheryl Keck - education reporter (2000-2002 (deceased))
*April Kellogg - general assignment reporter (2000-2003), serving as a reporter for WTVT
*Gina Maravilla - anchor/reporter
*Susanna Martinez- Polk County Bureau Chief (1997-1999) General Assignment Reporter/Senior Political Reporter, Tampa Bureau (1999-2003) Now working in Media Relations.
*Chris O'Connell, sports anchor/reporter, now reporter for KSTP-TV Minneapolis
*Terry O'Grady, business editor/reporter (2003-2008)
*Nadia Osman - general assignment reporter (2003-2005)
*Tammy Robiconti - health reporter (2001-2006), now does "Healthy Living" segment for HCA hospitals which is aired on Bay News 9
*Debra Schrils - meteorologist (1999-2001)
*Patricia Scott - evening/overnight anchor (1997-2001)
*Shawn Sherlock - general assignment reporter (2001-2003)
*Tyriney Sims - sports reporter (2002-2005)
*Trey Thomas - general assignment reporter (2003-2006)
*Doug Tobin- weekend anchor (2000-2002)
*Susan Vessell - meteorologist (2001-2003); now at KEYE-TV
*Lynn Wright - general assignment reporter (2003-2005)
*Al Zimmerman-general assignment reporter (2001-2004). Arrested in 2008 for production of child pornography. Awaiting trial.
*Russ Handler - weekend/fill-in traffic reporter (1997-2003), traffic director (2003-2008)
*Eric Watson-Manatee County reporter. (2000-2002).


* Former sister station, Capital News 9 in Albany, New York, has a similar logo style.

* Bright House Networks also has a similar news operation in Orlando known as Central Florida News 13.

* Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13 are both CNN (Cable News Network) affiliate sister stations.

* In the Sarasota area, another similar channel, called SNN News 6, can be seen on Comcast cable.

* Terry Dolan has been announced as the station's new general manager, starting May 19, 2008. [* [] CNN Veteran Terry Dolan joins Bay News 9]

Bay News 9 in the Community

Project Weather consists of Science Kits which are distributed to all 6th grade public school teachers in the 7-county viewing area and Project Weather Activity Books for pre-school and elementary aged children. Bay News 9 has an interactive exhibit called WeatherQuest at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, a news and weather exhibit in Lakeland at the Explorations V Children's Museum and a Project Weather Classroom at the Science Center in Pinellas County. Additionally meteorologists go to hurricane expos and schools to education about weather.


* [ Bay News 9 celebrates 10th anniversary] Retrived 9/24/2007.
* [] CNN Veteran Terry Dolan joins Bay News 9

External links

* [ Original Bay News 9 Screenshots] Contains a screens of the on-air livery Bay News 9 used from its launch in 1997 to about 2003/2004 (when a graphics and music overhaul occurred).
* [ Bay News 9 video/images @ Florida News Center] Contains an image and video archive of the intros, teasers, and other on-air segments that Bay News 9 uses both past and present.

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