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

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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?

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Roger Simmons has been blogging about Orlando television since 2001. You can email him at roger@rogersimmons.com


  1. Well, I am sure he has the utmost respect for Fox 35. Another reason is this:

    He left a Fox affiliate for an affiliate of one of the Big 3 nets!

  2. Good to see him burning bridges on his way out, but Jim had started the fire before he even stepped out the door. Wonder if WTSP has any idea for the ego-maniac they are in store for.

  3. Hey Metrowestfl — Yes, Jim Van Fleet was the chief met until WFTV didn’t renew Glenn Richards’ contract — and Fox 35 hired him. That’s when Van Fleet was moved to the morning show.

  4. I like Glenn Richards and all but Jim Van Fleet deserves the gig as Chief Met and I feel bad for him being bumped and all.

  5. I left WDBO-TV in 1977 to to join KHOU-TV in Houston. At that time Orlando was the 42nd market…Houston the 10th. A pretty bg hop. Often thought I went to the “majors”…but it was with the 3rd ranked station in Houston. I felt like we did (at the time) better news at WDBO…All in the eye of the beholder I guess!i

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