"Big 13"

A historical 
TV web site
dedicated to
WTVT,
Channel 13
Tampa, Florida

 

From 1955 to 1994, WTVT was Tampa Bay's CBS Television Affiliate. 
Serving the community with talented personalities, a top-notch production team,
and Florida's most professional news, sports, and weather,
Channel 13 is one of most distinguished television stations in the country
with a wonderful history.

 
This site covers WTVT's 39 years of CBS affiliation,
 before "Big 13" became "Fox 13."

See behind-the-scenes & historical photos and read about those who worked there.
 

Created & Managed by Mike Clark, 
WTVT Employee 1972-1977

"Big 13" is maintained by a former employee of WTVT.
This site is not affiliated with or endorsed by the current owners of WTVT.

 

FOX 13 has its own history page!
Included are classic promos and rare videos
PLUS the WTVT 50th Anniversary Tribute
produced by the BIG 13 site for the 2005 Employee Reunion.

CLICK HERE to visit the Fox 13 History Page


ATTENTION CURRENT
and FORMER WTVT
EMPLOYEES!

That's right!  2015 is WTVT's 60th Anniversary and the planners behind the 2005 event are joined by
former WTVT anchors Frank Robertson and Kathy Fountain to host the BIG 13/WTVT 60th Anniversary Employee Reunion.
Current and former Channel 13 employees (and their family/guests) are invited but first visit the BIG 13 TV GROUP on Facebook
and join to receive the latest news about the event, which for now is targeted for March 28, 2015.
Here's the link to the BIG 13 TV Group  BIG 13 TV GROUP

SEE YOU IN 2015!!

 

 

 

The Story Behind THE 1970's PULSE SET

HERB SCHMOLL HAD NEVER DESIGNED A TELEVISION NEWS SET...
BUT HIS FIRST ASSIGNMENT WAS A HOME RUN FOR WTVT.
CLICK HERE

Congratulations for Three WTVT Retirees

Meteorologist Andy Johnson is one of "Roy's Boys" and joined the station in 1979. 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.  Tuesday, January 29th was declared "Andy Johnson Day" by the City of Tampa! '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. Shirley Gastmann started 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.

(photo courtesy Stephanie Ottjepka)

 

BIG 13 salutes these colleagues who spent their
professional careers serving the viewers of WTVT.  Well done!
 


ONLY THE BIG 13 SITE:
A Mary Ellen Adventure!

See Mary Ellen and The Pirate in this exclusive 16mm digital transfer.
CLICK HERE

 

 

Comments? Questions?
  Email me at 

mecnow@yahoo.com

 


Dedication/Thanks

Credits

 

Facilities/
Engineering
Lots of photos and information

on cameras, studios, remotes

Graphics & Logos
 
Photo of the Week
Archive

Pre-Air History 

The Early Years

Year One Employee
Profiles

Tommy Eure's Photo Studio

Ernie Lee:
Glad To Meet You

The Ernie
List Of Honorees


WTVT NEWS

Wayne Fariss
WTVT's
First Anchor

 

Dick John
News Dir.
1956-58
 

History of WTVT News
from the 50's to the 90's
 

John Evans
First Tallahassee
Bureau Chief
 

Ray Blush
Anchor, News Dir.
& Producer/Host
of Project 13

Larry Elliston
"Down Home Florida"
Producer/Host
 

Scott Shuster
First Anchor
of Pulse Plus!

 

Crawford Rice
Anchor/News Director/
General Manager
 

Hugh Smith
Reporter/Anchor/
News Director
 

Jule McGee
Veteran Reporter/
Cinematographer

John Ferrugia
Project 13
Reporter
 

Don Harris
Host of Pulse Extra
and later NBC
Reporter

Jim West
Reporter/News Director
on the Satellite Era
 

Jim West
Reporter/News Director
on the Co-Anchors
 

Jim West
Reporter/News Director
on a Spy In The Newsroom
 

Other WTVT Personalities

TV Tease
Vintage Employee
Newsletters

 

Sports
From the 50's to the 90's

Salty Sol Fleischman, Andy Hardy,
and more!
--------------
Pete Johnson's Sports Memories 

Weather
History of WTVT Weather Service


The  Roy Leep Story

The Howard Shapiro Story

Rewinding The Past:
Preserving WTVT
Film & Tape

2003 Get Together
 

WTVT Posters

2005 Employee Reunion

2008 Retirements

Mary Ellen's Playhouse

Capt. Mac and Other
Tampa Bay Area
Kids' Hosts


Shock Armstrong's

Haunted House

 

3-D Danny 
+ Buggsie & Muggsie
+ 'Windy West' + Romper Room

Ed and Peg Scott

Where Are They Now?

In Memoriam
Revised March 2014

Meet the Staff of WTVT 

Jim Benedict
A Legacy of Excellence

WFLA Section

Arch Deal:
The Ups and Downs of a Tampa News Legend

Uncle Bruce Story

History of NBC Peacock

THE JACK HARRIS STORY
A profile and bio of a veteran
Tampa Bay broadcaster and former
Co-Host of PULSE PLUS!

"Jerry Krumbholz
Speaking of Ch. 13"

The Joe Wiezycki Story

Bob Gilbert:
A Guy with Something Extra

Links to other TV Historical 
Web Sites

A review of the feature film "Anchorman"

TAMPA REMEMBERS
 John F. Kennedy

A section devoted to the day over 40 years ago
that our 35th President visited Tampa...
Nov. 18, 1963

 

Mike Clark's Corner

A 2002 Visit 
to WTVT

'TVT & Me
by Mike Clark

A Tribute to 'Mr. Television' Milton Berle

Visitors Since November, 2001
We passed 10,000 hits in October, 2002,
20,000 hits in June, 2003
 30,000 hits in January, 2004,
40,000 hits by September, 2004,
and 50,000 hits in March, 2005.
Thanks to all those who have spread the word! 

 

PREVIEW