Posts Tagged ‘WWSB’

Woman steals WWSB reporter’s car on camera…

(from WWSB.TV) – It’s scam awareness month here at WWSB ABC 7, and sometimes exposing these types of things can be hazardous. That was the case today for 7 South Newsroom reporter Josh Taylor, who is investigating an alleged rental property scam.

It started out with a 91-year old Venice woman claiming she had rented an 11-bedroom home on Siesta Key for a family reunion. It turns out though that after some code violations the home now only has five bedrooms.

She wanted her money back but was told no, even though it was in her contract that she was entitled to it.

ABC 7 went looking for answers, and Josh was setting up his camera Friday afternoon when this happened….Cont….



02 2014

WWSB goes all out to send off Lauren Dorsett…

As Florida News Center reported two months ago, WWSB-TV anchor Lauren Dorsett announced that she would be departing the Sarasota station after November books. Dorsett is headed to her native Southern California to be close to her family, but has yet to announce any future employment or future work in television. Her final day is tomorrow, November 25th.

She joined WWSB in April 2010 as a transplant from its sister station, WTXL-TV in Tallahassee. In just a short three years, the blonde bomb-shell has captured the hearts of Sarasota…or at least those of the bosses at WWSB. The station has planned a tribute to the three-year tenured anchor, has devoted a special section on its website , and has peppered with promo banners just for her departure. The station writes..

ABC 7′s Lauren Dorsett…over the past three and a half years, you’ve come to know, and love, her as weeknight anchor of Your Suncoast News. Now, as Lauren prepares to say good-bye, we look back at some of her most memorable moments…and hear from organizations that have benefited from Lauren’s work in the community. Join ABC 7 for “A Suncoast Send-Off for Lauren”…beginning Monday at 11:00. To send your good wishes to Lauren, post your comments at the bottom of this page.

Not to take away from the career or person that is Lauren Dorsett (and we do truly mean that), but does anyone think this a tad much for an anchor who has only been with the station for three years and is not even from the area? It certainly helps to be blonde and beautiful (again, no offense to Ms. Dorsett…as she is blonde and beautiful) to garner this much attention.


11 2013

Former WWSB meteorologist heads West…

Former WWSB-TV Sarasota meteorologist and Meredith Garofalo will be heading to the west coast of California. Garofalo will be the new weekday morning meteorologist and multimedia journalist for KEYT-TV, the ABC affiliate in Santa Barbara, CA.

Garofalo departed WWSB in March 2013 to be the Community Resource Director with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. Garofalo was very involved in the Sarasota/Bradenton community and recently was a nominee for the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance “Ray of Sunshine” Sandies Award. She also starred as “Rizzo” in the Manatee Players production of Grease in September.

Garofalo started her career at WGN-TV in Chicago and previously worked at KOTA-TV in Rapid City before joining WWSB in July 2011.


11 2013

Lauren Dorsett out, Stephanie Roberts joins WWSB…

Sarasota’s WWSB-TV announced today that primary anchor Lauren Dorsett (right #1) is leaving the station to be close to family in her native Southern California. She joined WWSB in May 2010, from its sister station WTXL-TV in Tallahassee. So far there is no word on where she will work in California, or if she will remain in television. Her last day at the station is November 27.

Doresett will be replaced by morning anchor Hayley Wielgus (right #2), co-anchoring the 5, 5:30, and 6 p.m. newscasts with Scott Dennis. She will anchor the 11 p.m. newscast solo and will contribute as a station health reporter.

The station announced that former WFTS meteorologist Stephanie Roberts (left) will officially join their ranks, replacing Hayley Wielgus on the morning show. She will co-anchor Good Morning Suncoast with Don Brennan. As Florida News Center reported in May 2012, Roberts was fired from WFTS for unknown reasons. In the years prior and leading up to, Robert’s became a regular guest meteorologist on the weekend editions of ABC’s Good Morning America. Interestingly, Robert’s new bio on WWSB’s website makes no mention of her four years at Tampa’s WFTS. WWSB and WFTS are both ABC network stations, sharing the same market, with WWSB focusing on the Sarasota/Bradenton/Venice viewership. Her first day on the morning show will be October 7th.



10 2013

Meredith Garofalo departs WWSB…

(from – Meredith Garofalo, who signed off from Sarasota ABC affiliate WWSB, has taken a job with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast.

While at WWSB, Garofalo was the weekend meteorologist and reporter. She started her career at WGN in Chicago and worked at KOTA in Rapid City, SD before coming to WWSB….Cont….


03 2013

A goat takes on WWSB’s Linda Carson…

WWSB’s Linda Carson received some time in the national spot light over the past few days, as the video below made its way around the Internet and shows like “Jimmy Kimmel LIVE” and ABC’s “GMA.” Carson was rammed by a goat, while preparing a video report from the Manatee County Fair. As you can see from the video below, Carson nor the goat were injured. Check it out below….

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01 2013

WFTS makes gains in November 2012 books…

(edited from WFTS Press Release) – WFTS-TV won the 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. M-F news competition in the highly sought after Adult 25-54 and Women 25-54 demographics for November 2012. November marked the first time WFTS won all three early evening newscasts in A25-54.


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11 2012

Steve Sabato named as N/D at WWSB…

(from - Steve Sabato was named director of news and digital content at WWSB Sarasota, Fla. He started Nov. 5 and reports to Jeff Benninghoff, VP and GM.

Sabato comes to the ABC station from Nashville, where he was partner/executive VP of media technology company Cell Journalist LLC. Prior to that, Sabato was director of news and local programming at WKRN Nashville. Sabato also held news director positions at WWJ Detroit and WLKY Louisville, along with a variety of other local TV management positions.

“Steve is a highly regarded news executive with an impressive track record in broadcast news and digital media,” said Benninghoff. “Steve has a history of building strong news brands and is an authority and innovator on multi-platform content strategy. I am very pleased that he will now put his impressive skills to work for our great station.”….Cont….

//hattip to


11 2012

WWSB parts ways with News Director…

Sources tell Florida News Center that Sarasota’s WWSB parted ways with News Director Gene Ross earlier this week. There is no word on who will fill Ross’ vacancy. The station has already listed the opening on its website.

No reason was given for Ross’ sudden departure. However, his departure comes just weeks after Jeff Benninghoff was named VP and General Manager at the station.

Are more changes coming to WWSB? Stay tuned to Florida News Center for the latest.


09 2012

Benninghoff named as VP/GM at WWSB…

(from – Calkins Media’s ABC affiliate WWSB Sarasota-Tampa, Fla. (DMA 14), -said today that Calkins executive Jeff Benninghoff is returning to the station as vice president and general manager.  Benninghoff previously worked at WWSB — first as controller, then as station manager — from 1998 to 2008. He has since served as the group owner’s VP of finance at corporate headquarters in Levittown, Pa. He succeeds Steven Soldinger, who (as first reported by Florida News Center) resigned in early July.

Benninghoff’s appointment is effective immediately.  He will report directly to Calkins Media CEO, Mark G. Contreras.

In making the announcement, Calkins Media CEO Mark G. Contreras said, “Jeff has the perfect combination of skills to lead ABC 7 into our digital future.” Contreras added, “He has an impressive track record of accomplishments in broadcasting and has been with the company for nearly 20 years.  His optimism, energy and forward-looking approach will serve us well as we continue to evolve our business models.”….Cont….


08 2012