Radio-TV Broadcast History

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Panama City, Florida
Branding WMBB News 13

This TV Panama City (on DT2)

Slogan On Your Side
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Subchannels 13.1 ABC

13.2 This TV

Owner Hoak Media Corporation

(Hoak Media Of Panama City License, LLC)

First air date October 4, 1973
Call letters' meaning World's Most

Beautiful Beaches

Former callsigns WDTB-TV (1973-1977)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

13 (VHF, 1973-2009) Digital: 19 (UHF, 2003-2009)

Former affiliations NBC (1973-1982)

weather radar (on DT2)

Transmitter power 42 kW
Height 434 m
Facility ID 66398
Transmitter coordinates 30°21′8″N 85°23′28″W / 30.35222°N 85.39111°W / 30.35222; -85.39111


[hide]*1 Digital programming

  • 2 History
  • 3 News team
    • 3.1 Newscast titles
    • 3.2 Station slogans
  • 4 Past staff
    • 4.1 References
  • 5 External links

Digital programming[]

On WMBB-DT2, Knology digital channel 133, and Comcast digital channel 209 is This TV which uses the fictional calls "NMBB-TV".

Channel Programming
13.1 main WMBB programming/ABC HD
13.2 "NMBB-TV" "This TV Panama City"


It first began broadcast operations on October 4, 1973 as WDTB-TV started by Panhandle Broadcasting Corporation (run by attorney Denver T. Brannen), financed by local businessman/car dealer Tommy Thomas, and attorneys Julian Bennett and Dick Arnold. When it first took to the air, the channel was originally an NBC network affiliate. On February 28, 1977, WDTB was sold to Octagon Broadcasting an Atlanta-based outfit. Upon the change, Octagon changed the station's call sign to the current WMBB (which stands for "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches"). Employees joked that the call letters stood for "World's Most Botched Broadcasting" or "We Make Boo Boos".

Originally, the station was positioned to be the NBC affiliate for Tallahassee as well since the market did not have one until the 1980s when WTWC began (the plan failed). At the time, its transmitter was in Frink, Calhoun County, well over fifty miles (80 km) away from Tallahassee at approximately 30°22′9″N 85°12′29″W / 30.36917°N 85.20806°W / 30.36917; -85.20806. In addition, many viewers in the capital city already received NBC from Albany, Georgia's WALB which provided a better signal to the area.

On January 4, 1982, WMBB made the affiliation switch to ABC swapping with crosstown rival WJHG. Then on December 5, 1986, Buford Television of Tyler, Texas purchased the station and began investing in equipment and news talent in order to make the station more competitive, not only with WJHG, but also with Dothan, Alabama's WTVY, the CBS station serving the eastern part of the Northwestern Florida Panhandle region. It was also around this time that this station moved from its location in Downtown Panama City to its current location on Harrison Avenue that formerly housed a Buick dealership. The new facilities offered three times the space of the previous location.

Unexpectedly at 2:03 p.m. Central Time on May 18, 1989, an Air Force F-15 fighter jet clipped a wire at WMMB's Frink tower. This caused the tower, antenna, and transmitter to be completely destroyed. Not long after this incident, the channel was sold once again. This time, it joined Spartan Communications of Spartanburg, South Carolina as construction of new transmission equipment got underway. The company completed the acquisition on April 12, 1990. On August 6 of that same year, WMBB began broadcasting from a new 1,500-foot (457 m) state-of-the-art antenna and transmitter tower now in Youngstown. This allowed for better viewing of the station in the western half of the market including the rapidly growing southern Walton County area and Destin.

In 1993, WMBB refused to air the ABC show NYPD Blue due to its violence, harsh language, and partial nudity. Instead, it aired syndicated programming during the timeslot. It was one of several ABC affiliates across the country that refused clearance to the program. Then-General Manager Hugh Roche kept the show off the station until 1997 when the parental ratings system was adopted by the networks. By the time WMBB finally allowed the program to air, it was the last station in the country to lift its ban on the show.

In March 2000, this station became one of thirteen in a package acquired by Media General worth $605 million. Later that year, Media General purchased the Jackson County Floridan newspaper. WMBB then established a Jackson County Bureau and used the resources of the Floridan to cover Jackson County as well. This caught the eye of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) because of the common ownership of a newspaper and television station in the same market. With the sale of WMBB to Hoak Media, this is no longer an issue. By the time Media General sold the station, Media General was granted a permanent waiver by the FCC to operate both properties in the same market. Even after the sale, both properties remain media partners.

WMBB made history during Hurricane Dennis in July 2005 when it became the first station in Panama City to broadcast live storm coverage over the internet. It was one of the first stations in the country to use the Titan forecasting tool (a 3D forecasting system which showed the collapse of the storm just before it struck Santa Rosa Island). On March 14, 2008, it was announced that Media General would sell the station (and sister KALB-TV in Alexandria, Louisiana) to Hoak Media Corporation. [1] The deal was closed on July 16. [2] WMBB is Hoak's first television station east of the Mississippi River.

As of January 2010, this station (who is across the street from Fox affiliate WPGX) has begun to produce weather cut-ins for that channel. WMBB offers live streams of its newscasts regional weather radar on its website. In July 2010, the station replaced its second digital subchannel broadcast of weather radar with This TV. That network originally aired on WBIF after that channel stopped airing content from the Retro Television Network (RTV). Its replacement was supposed to be WPGX-DT2 but this never made it to air. "NMBB-TV" will air collegiate games from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) starting in the Fall.

News team[]


  • Greg Sherrod - weekday mornings
  • Jessica Foster - weekday mornings and "Modern Medicine" segment producer
  • Amy Hoyt - Assistant News Director seen weeknights and "Crime Tracker" segment producer
  • Jerry Brown - weeknights and "Problem Solver" segment producer
  • Kevin Character - weekends

Titan 13 HD Meteorologists

  • Justin Kiefer (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights at 6 and 10
  • Jerry Tabatt - Senior Forecaster and Community Outreach Coordinator seen weeknights at 5 and weekends
  • Wayne Gentry - weekday mornings


  • Chris Marchand - Director seen weeknights at 6 and 10
  • Stephen Gunter - weekends


  • Robert Dokken - "The Dokken Report" segment producer
  • Andrew Bautista - Chief Photographer
  • Alex Quintana - photojournalist
  • Jay Granberg - photographer
  • Elizabeth Cate
  • J. Michael Brown
  • Jessi Chapin
  • Marc McAfee
  • Mary Scott Speigner
  • Allyson Walker

Newscast titles[]

  • NewsCenter 13 (early 1980s-1987)
  • 13 Eyewitness News (1987-1996)
  • News 13 (1996-2006)
  • WMBB News 13 (2006-present)

Station slogans[]

  • "Together on Channel 13" (1986-1987, localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • "TV 13, 13 Strong" (1990-1994, general slogan)
  • "Coverage You Can Count On" (1990-1996, news slogan)
  • "Your News Station" (1996-2001)
  • "On Your Side" (2001-present)

Past staff[]

  • Carolyn Scofield (now with Central Florida News 13)
  • Audrey Adair, General Assignment Reporter
  • Christian Ashley, Sports Anchor/Reporter (2003-2005)
  • Amy Ausley, Reporter/Anchor (late 1990s)
  • David Bacon, Sports (1990s)
  • David Bishop, Reporter (1989-1990, now in government affairs)
  • Ed Bradford, Anchor (1989-1991)
  • Sandra Brogan, Meteorologist (now at WPMT-TV Harrisburg, PA)
  • Kyle Burger, Sports Director/Anchor (2005-2007, now at WAAY-TV Huntsville)
  • Shannon Cake, Reporter (now at WPTV-TV West Palm Beach, FL)
  • Crystal Cameron, Reporter, Weekend Anchor (2004-2006, now at WVIR-TV Charlottesville, VA)
  • Susan Casper, Reporter (now with WFTS Tampa)
  • Carmen Coursey Cato, Anchor/Reporter (?, now at WSPA/WYCW, Spartanburg, SC)
  • Scot Chestnut, Reporter (1980s, now DJ at WKSJ-FM 95KSJ Mobile, AL)
  • Judy Dickey, Morning Meteorologist(2002-2005), Weekend Meteorologist (1997-2000)
  • April Douglas, Marianna Bureau Reporter (now at WALA Mobile)
  • John Dunlap, Sports (now at WJXT Jacksonville)
  • Tracey Early, Reporter (now with News 14 Carolina)
  • Sheena Foster, Reporter 2006-2007 (Now at NY 1)
  • Nancy Gay, Reporter (now with Central Florida News 13)
  • Tim Gehret, Reporter (now a law student at the Charleston School of Law, South Carolina)
  • Cynthia Gould, Anchor (1989-1994)
  • Tracey Grimm, Reporter (1980s)
  • Mike Gurspan, Anchor/Reporter (1987-1992, now PIO for Walton County, Florida)
  • Larche Hardy, Reporter/Anchor 1980s (also served as News Director from late 1980s-2009)
  • Joy Harris, Weather (1980s)
  • Erin Hawley, Weekend Anchor (2009-2010, now at First Coast News, Jacksonville, FL)
  • Lesley Hendrix, Weekend Anchor/General Assignment Reporter (?-2005,)
  • Tom Higginbotham, Meteorologist 2000-2002 (now Environmental Manager, Florida DOH)
  • Rex Hodge, General Assignment Reporter
  • Mark Jenkins, (2006-2009, now with Central Florida News 13)
  • Paul Joseph, Sports (1980s-1990s)
  • Mark Koelbel, Main Anchor (early 1990s)
  • Robert Kittle, General Assignment Reporter (1985-1989, now at WSPA-TV Spartanburg)
  • Deanna Lambert, Morning Anchor/Reporter (2005-2008; now at WSMV Nashville, TN)
  • Sam Lane, Weekend Weather Forecaster
  • Jared Long, General Assignment Reporter (?-2004)
  • Janice Lucas, Reporter (1980s)
  • Chris Maurer, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (former on-air name: Chris Garrett) (early 1980s; now Managing Producer/Anchor CNBC Radio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ)
  • Kira Mathis, General Assignment Reporter (2003-2005, now at News 14 Carolina Greensboro)
  • Chris Mitchell, Walton County Reporter (1998-2007)
  • Steve Moss, Morning Anchor
  • Kate Mundy, Morning Anchor/Reporter (?-2004, now at KATC-TV Lafayette, LA)
  • Capt. Norm Miller, Chief Weather Forecaster (1987-1998)
  • Candace Mills, General Assignment Reporter (2007)
  • Tom Najjar, Midday Host (1980s & 90s)
  • Patrick Nolan (Weekend Anchor 1992-94, now weeknight anchor at WFTX-TV in Fort Myers, FL)
  • Kathy Oliver, Weenend Anchor (1989-1991) Main Anchor (1991-1995)
  • Leif Pedersen-Diaz, Reporter (early 1990s)
  • Chris Pedersen, Reporter (1980s)
  • Bob Petermann, Weather Anchor (1980s) (Deceased)
  • Linda Powell, Live at 5:00 Anchor (?-2004, now in Jacksonville with Video Law Services)
  • Tanya Rivera, Morning Anchor (1993-2000, now at WFMY-TV Greensboro, NC)
  • Ashley Roberts, General Assignment Reporter (2005-2007, now at WSLS Roanoke)
  • Angela Sachitano, Morning Anchor/Reporter (2004-2006) now at WPTV West Palm Beach
  • Bree Sison, Morning Anchor/Reporter (2006-2009) now at WEAR-TV Pensacola, FL
  • Dan Sheldon (now with KUTV Salt Lake City)
  • Robby Thomas, General Assignment Reporter (2004-2006) - "Take My Job, Rob"
  • Jennifer Turk, General Assignment Reporter (2005-2007; now at News 14 Carolina Raleigh-Durham)
  • John Willams, Main Anchor (1987-1989)
  • Hank Woolard, Reporter (1980s)
  • Tuquyen Mach, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (2005-2008), now with WSAV-TV in Savannah, GA
  • Megan Albright, General Assignment Reporter (2007-2008)
  • Chris Cato, Reporter (1999-2002 Main Anchor (2002-2005), now at WSPA/WYCW, Spartanburg, SC)
  • Brian Goddin,Morning/Feature Reporter (2008(; also a weekend anchor/reporter until 2005; currently with the Bay County Sheriff's Office as the Community Relations Specialist)
  • Rebecca Underwood, General Assignment Reporter


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hoak Closes Purchase of WMBB, KALB/NALB - 7/16/2008 10:59:00 AM - Broadcasting & Cable

External links[]