DMA 14

WWSB Tampa Names Sabato News Director

Veteran news director and digital technology expert Steve Sabato will become director of news and digital content at the ABC affiliate starting Nov. 5.

ABC affiliate WWSB Tampa, Fla. (DMA 14) has named Steve Sabato director of news and digital content. He begins his new position Nov. 5 and will report to Jeff Benninghoff, the station’s VP and general manager. Sabato succeeds Gene Ross who left the station in September.

Sabato comes to WWSB from Nashville, where he was Partner-EVP of Cell Journalist LLC, a media technology company serving the broadcast and publishing industries. In this role, Sabato helped newsrooms manage user-generated content and was the lead business development officer responsible for strategic planning, sales, business-to-business partnerships and affiliate relations.

Prior to that, Sabato was director of news and local programming at WKRN Nashville, where he planned and managed the newsroom’s digital transition. Sabato also held news director positions at WWJ Detroit and WLKY Louisville, Ky. He was also news director at WFSB Hartford, Conn., and was later promoted to station manager. Sabato also served as VP-GM at WNEM-AM-TV Saginaw, Mich., where he was responsible for all aspects of station management.  Earlier in his career, Sabato held news management positions at WPXI Pittsburgh and WTNH New Haven, Conn.

Sabato is a graduate of the London Film School in London, England.  He also attended the University of Cincinnati for three years and completed the National Association of Broadcasters Management Development Program at Northwestern University, as well as the Television Executive  Training Program at the University of Missouri.

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Dale Godfrey says:

November 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm

WWSB is in Sarasota; while part of the Tampa DMA, it covers the southern portion of the DMA, and historically operated so as to minimize overlap with then-ABC affiliate WTSP, which in earlier times operated from a tower near Largo. Today the ABC affiliate is WFTS, Channel 28, and the signals of WFTS and WWSB are more coterminous than before. ABC almost succeeded in pulling the affiliation after it shifted Tampa to WFTS from WTSP, but a firm intent on WWSB’s part to sue ABC made them let WWSB exist as an ABC affiliate. Needless to say, there’s not one single chance in a million that would ever fly today!