Tag Archives: WOFL-35

Recent RogerSimmons.com Orlando TV News reports involving WOFL-Channel 35, the Fox affiliate for Central Florida. The station calls its newscasts Fox 35 News. WOFL is owned by Fox Broadcasting and is part of an Orlando duopoly with WRBW-Channel 65. Channel 35’s original call letters were WSWB.

Miami anchor joining Fox 35 morning news team

LuAnne Sorrell (courtesy WSVN.com)

Some news related to Orlando TV newspeople …

LuAnne Sorrell will be joining WOFL-Fox 35 as a morning news anchor this summer, her agency — Napoli Management Group — announced. She’s arriving from Miami Fox affiliate WSVN-7, where she is a reporter and weekend anchor. According to her bio, she joined WSVN in 2005 after spending 2-1/2 years at KLAS-CBS 8 in Las Vegas. TVSpy.com says  she’s replacing  Heidi Hatch, who left Fox 35 a year ago for KUTV-CBS 2 in Salt Lake City. …

Sorrell’s replacement at WSVN in South Florida is a face familiar to Orlando TV news viewers: former WESH reporter/anchor Jeff Lennox. He left the TV biz after departing WESH but ended up at WSVN as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Lennox broke the news about his new gig on his Twitter account last week: “Anchoring weekend mornings now full-time in Miami! Couldn’t be more excited!” …

Former WFTV reporter and Hearst TV Washington reporter Jane Watrel is returning to O-Town. Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker reports that Watrel is joining the Orange County Sheriff’s office as a media specialist/public information officer ….

NewsBlues.com reports that Stephanie Kolp, a reporter WBBH-NBC 2 in Fort Myers, is joining WESH at a reporter. She starts June 21. …

Mark Joyella will join WFTV-Channel 9 as reporter/weekend morning anchor. Joyella previously worked at CNN, WNYW-Fox 5 and WPIX-CW 11 in New York and WPLG-ABC 10 in Miami. NewsBlues says that WFTV News Director Bob Jordan hired Joyella in 1994 when Jordan was running the newsroom at WFTS-ABC 28 in Tampa.

Jim Van Fleet: I wasn’t dissing Fox 35 or Orlando in interview

from MyFoxOrlando.com

Former WOFL-Fox 35 morning meteorologist Jim Van Fleet is settling into his new role as chief met at Tampa’s WTSP-CBS 10. However, he’s still a bit unsettled by reaction to an interview he gave — and he wants to set the record straight.

This all began with an early December blog post by St. Petersburg Times TV writer Eric Deggans, who talked to Van Fleet about his new job at WTSP. Here’s what Deggans wrote:  “I’m actually here … and allowed to be on air,” joked Van Fleet, referring to the contract issues which kept him from appearing on WTSP until his agreement with Orlando Fox station WOFL-TV fully expired. “That was Triple A, and now I’m ready for the majors.”

It was that last statement that some inferred as a possible dig at his old station and/or Orlando. Van Fleet says that’s not the case.

In an email to us, Van Fleet wrote: “Yes, I was joking about actually being allowed to go on air finally. That was a little frustrating that Fox 35 would not let me just move on and go to the next chapter, but in a way the fact that they held on for as long as they could, and as tightly as they could, I do take that as a compliment.”

What about the minor-league comment?

“NO – I did not mean Orlando was Triple A and Tampa was the majors,” Van Fleet explained. “What I meant was I felt like since I was going from morning meteorologist back into the chief meteorologist role, well, that was like being ‘called up’ into the majors. So any misunderstanding … misquote … if I didn’t speak it clearly … whatever it is, if anyone took the way I did NOT mean it I just wanted to apologize as that is not what I said … or meant!!”

Van Fleet also said once he heard how his remarks were being interpreted by some, he was upset.

“My heart sank when I read this online because I think anyone who has taken the time to get to know me knows that I don’t put people down or make remarks like that,” Van Fleet wrote in his email. “So I hope this helps you understand where my intentions where and how I truly feel about Central Florida, and those feelings will never change.”

Read our original post about the interview here. (Note: Jim’s email arrived on Dec. 29, but I’ve been swamped and was not able to post until today.)

Reporter Patrick Pegues no longer with Fox 35 following arrest

Patrick Pegues' mugshot (courtesy MyFoxOrlando.com)

Patrick Pegues and WOFL-Fox 35 have parted ways following the reporter’s arrest Monday night for allegedly firing a gun while walking a dog in Orlando.

MyFoxOrlando.com reported:

According to the incident report, witnesses observed the suspect walking a dog along East Michigan Street. Witnesses told deputies they saw another dog in a yard outside a fence. They say the dog did not seem aggressive. Moments later, witnesses heard a gunshot. Deputies confronted Pegues and found a gun on him. According to the report, Pegues indicated he was defending himself. Deputies did find damage to a car in the area where witnesses say they heard the gunshot. No injuries were reported. Pegues is charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm and discharging a destructive device with property damage. Pegues is no longer employed with FOX 35.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that a Beretta 9mm semi-automatic gun was found on  Pegues’ right hip. Pegues said he had a concealed weapons permit.

Initially, WOFL said Pegues had been suspended, but later reported that he was no longer with the station. This was not Pegues’ first run-in with police during his time at WOFL.

Pegues got into a scuffle with a Seminole County deputy in April while covering a story. Watch the video of that incident here. Pegues was not arrested.

He was arrested in October 2007 on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting an officer without violence while on assignment to cover an accident on Lake Margaret Road.

His bio page has been removed from the MyFoxOrlando.com website, but you can see a cached version here.

Was Jim Van Fleet criticizing Orlando, Fox 35 in interview?

The homepage of FTVLive.com's site with its Jim Van Fleet story.

I guess this one depends on your point of view. You can take some comments made by former WOFL-Fox 35 morning meteorologist Jim Van Fleet as either a diss at Orlando TV news or someone who’s just telling it like it is.

In an interview with St. Petersburg Times TV writer Eric Deggans, Van Fleet was asked to talk about his new job as the chief met at Tampa’s WTSP-CBS 10 — a job he started Monday.

“I’m actually here…and allowed to be on air,” joked Van Fleet Monday, referring to the contract issues which kept him from appearing on WTSP until his agreement with Orlando Fox station WOFL-TV fully expired. “That was Triple A, and now I’m ready for the majors.”

FTVLive.com blogger Scott Jones interpreted Van Fleet’s comments as a dig at Fox 35 and O-Town. Wrote Jones: “Not sure how calling his old station and market the minor leagues is going to go over with his former co-workers? But, we’re guessing they won’t be happy knowing they are just scrubs that can’t make it in the ‘Majors.’ ”

I’m willing to give Van Fleet the benefit of the doubt on this given that (a) he left a morning weather position to become a chief meteorologist, and (b) Orlando is the No. 19 television market, and Tampa is No. 14. In that respect, I could see how his new job is like the “majors” compared with ‘Triple A” Orlando. What do you think?

Lisa Bell joins WKMG, Jayme King to Fox 35 and Jim Van Fleet starts job

Lisa BellSome personnel moves for a couple of Orlando TV news stations …

Former News 13 morning anchor Lisa Bell is coming back to Orlando TV news. In January, she’ll be a reporter and occasional anchor on WKMG-Local 6.  “She will report for the 5, 6 and 7 p.m. news and fill in as anchor wherever we need her,” WKMG General Manager Skip Valet told Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker. After working at the cable news station for four years, Bell left News 13 during the summer — and many viewers wondered what happened to her. Turns out she was just “on the beach.” …

Fox 35 has hired a new morning meteorologist to replace Jim Van Fleet. Jayme King is expected to join WOFL sometime early next year. He comes from Fox-owned sister station KSAZ in Phoenix. The Orlando Sentinel reports that King is a South Florida native whose weather experience included a first-hand encounter with Hurricane Andrew. …

Meanwhile, Jim Van Fleet began his new job in Tampa on Monday as chief meteorologist at WTSP-CBS 10. The station welcomed Van Fleet by inviting viewers to post questions for the new weather guy on Facebook, and he answered some of them during the 5 and 6 p.m. telecasts.

Jim Van Fleet offers one of his first forecasts at the new chief meteorologist at WTSP.

Jim Van Fleet, Guy Rawlings, Mike Dunston leaving Orlando TV news

Jim Van Fleet and anchor John Brown chat during the meteorologist's last newscast for Fox 35 Monday.

Comings and goings in Orlando TV news …

After nearly a decade with WOFL, meteorologist Jim Van Fleet presented his last forecast on Monday morning. The popular Fox 35 weatherman is heading to WTSP-CBS 10 in Tampa to become the station’s chief meteorologist. On Monday’s Good Day show, Van Fleet said, “It is bittersweet. Fox has been my family. For the record, I think this is the worst time for me to leave Fox 35 because I feel this is the strongest Fox 35 has been. So, I realize what I am doing but it is an opportunity that is too big to say no to.” …

WESH 2 sports anchor Guy Rawlings is heading to Atlanta to become a news anchor at WGCL-CBS 46. “I’m really excited and a little bit anxious,” Rawlings told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Monday. “I wanted to try something different, look for a new challenge. A lot of my friends who are sports anchors are unemployed. Local sports seems to be shrinking. This opportunity is a hybrid of news and sports. I had to jump on it!” Rawlings’ last day at WESH will be Dec. 23. Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker reports that WESH will start “a national search” for Rawlings’ replacement. Veteran Pat Clarke will help fill the sports gaps at WESH for awhile. …

Another familiar face in the mornings at Fox 35 is leaving town, too. Mike Dunston is heading to Cleveland to anchor “Good Morning Cleveland” for WEWS-ABC 5. Dunston has been with WOFL since 2007. He’ll join his new station in December.