After 50-year career, FOX 13's John Wilson to retire - FOX 13 News

After 50-year career, FOX 13's John Wilson to retire

Posted: Updated:
John, center, with son Mark on the left and co-anchor Kelly at the 2012 RNC in Tampa John, center, with son Mark on the left and co-anchor Kelly at the 2012 RNC in Tampa
John and Kelly report from the 2008 World Series John and Kelly report from the 2008 World Series
John reports from Normandy in 1994 John reports from Normandy in 1994
John reports on the UN mission to Haiti, 1994. John reports on the UN mission to Haiti, 1994.
John at WLSD circa 1958 John at WLSD circa 1958
  • After 50-year career, FOX 13's John Wilson to retireMore>>

  • Anchor

    John Wilson

    John Wilson

    John Wilson is the co-anchor of the FOX 13 6 O'clock News and the FOX 13 10 O'clock News and offers an Emmy-winning weekly commentary called My View. ----------------------------------------------------------------
    John Wilson is the co-anchor of the FOX 13 6 O'clock News and the FOX 13 10 O'clock News and offers an Emmy-winning weekly commentary called "My View."
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Celebrating a remarkable 50 years in broadcasting, WTVT's John Wilson has announced his plans to retire.

"It is time for me to make a graceful exit, and I will do it in a few months," he said during his weekly 'My View' segment on Friday.

John has been called the 'Walter Cronkite of local news.' His authoritative voice, coupled with his generous heart, has earned him an unprecedented level of respect from viewers, peers, and competitors alike.

Born in the coal-mining town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, John's broadcasting career began when he was only 15, as a disc jockey and news reporter for local station WLSD. Upon graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia with Journalism, English and Drama degrees, John was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1963. There he served in Armed Forces Radio in Panama, receiving the Army Commendation Medal for Excellence in Broadcasting. Upon returning to Virginia, John's professional television broadcasting career included stops in Richmond and Portsmouth where he was both the main news anchor and news director. This would also be where John and his wife Mary K. would start their family, giving birth to three boys. WBTV-TV in Charlotte came calling next and that's where John anchored the station's primetime newscasts for six years before being recruited from a national search to join KSDK-TV in St. Louis. There, John would win consecutive Emmy awards for Outstanding Local Anchor.

John's been a fixture of Tampa Bay area television since then, joining WTSP-TV in 1981, anchoring the station's primetime newscasts for 12 years. John's passion for reporting kept him busy outside the studio as well earning high marks for his special reports traveling to Moscow, his trip to the White House to interview President Reagan, and live coverage from several political conventions. John also reported from Saudi Arabia for the start of the Gulf War in 1991.

In 1993, John joined WTVT and the FOX 13 team, where and his passion for reporting only continued to grow. Some of his most memorable stories came from his reports from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; from Normandy, France, covering the 50th D-Day Anniversary, and from being the first reporter ever allowed inside the War Room at U.S. Central Command Headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base.

John's reporting travels also took him to Romania, where his touching series of reports from an orphanage garnered him several AP and SPJ awards. And while John's commanding presence and straight-forward reporting style have been staples of his career, John's weekly 'My View' editorial segments called have become increasingly popular at FOX 13, recently earning him another Emmy award for commentary.

John's also in high demand as an emcee, narrator, lecturer and speaker who is equally at home in front of a symphony orchestra. He regularly sings with his wife of 48 years, professional singer and voice coach, Mary K. Wilson, and they have become two of the most popular entertainers in the Tampa Bay area. They perform regularly with the Florida Orchestra and Mostly Pops Orchestra at holiday events for charity and have been honored by dozens of charitable organizations over the years including the National Red Cross, The Boys and Girls Clubs, The Suncoast Opera Guild, The Junior League of St. Petersburg, St. Anthony's Hospital and the National Conference on Community Justice, just to name a few. Most recently, John was honored by the Broadcasters Club of Florida with a Lifetime Achievement award.

John has called St. Petersburg home for more than 30 years where he and Mary K. raised their three sons. Eldest son, Paul, owns his own advertising company and is also a singer. Mark works closely with John as an anchor and reporter at WTVT FOX 13, and youngest son Patrick is a Tony-, Emmy-, and Golden Globe-nominated award-winning actor and singer who has starred on Broadway and off in more than 25 feature films and shows. John's sons and their wives have also made him the proudest grandfather on the planet, giving him six grandchildren.

Soon, he'll have a lot more time to spend with them.

"I will step away from here in six months," he added Friday, "in November, just before Thanksgiving, and count my blessings."

LINKS:

Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices