About Us

About WFTS
WFTS signed on the air as an independent television station on December 14, 1981. Local businessman Ian Wheeler founded the station and the call letters were in reference to the station's mission as a "family television" station. Wheeler's objective was to provide Tampa Bay viewers with syndicated reruns, religious programming and movie classics.

When E.W. Scripps began operation of WFTS January 2, 1986, it had a staff of 55 and a 19-hour broadcast day that featured new and classic programming targeted toward family viewership. In 1988, WFTS became a FOX affiliate. However, on May 22, 1994, WFTS was one of 12 FOX affiliates nationwide involved in a network shuffle. WFTS emerged as an ABC affiliate with an immediate need for a full-fledged news department. Less than a year after Tampa Bay 28 News premiered, the start-up operation was named "Best Newscast" by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Other awards were earned for general reporting and deadline photography.

In 1999, newscasts were renamed ABC Action News. On July 28, 2007 at 6:00pm, WFTS-TV became the first broadcast station newscast in the Tampa DMA to broadcast in high definition.

Over the years, ABC Action News has won numerous awards spanning “best overall news operation” to top-rated investigations. These include Emmy Awards, Florida Association of Broadcasters awards and national awards like the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award, the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award and the NAB Service to America Award.

ABC Action News was a pioneer in developing "streaming" newscasts with ABC Action News+ Several weekday newscasts are produced exclusively for streaming. WFTS was the first station in the Tampa Bay market and the third station in the nation to produce streaming only newscasts, not just newscast repeats. ABC Action News+ has nearly 10+ hours of exclusive streaming news content every weekday, across most used devices.

About Scripps News
Scripps News is the 24/7 national news network of The E.W. Scripps Company, built on a 145-year legacy of quality, objective journalism. It is available free and over the air. Scripps News brings an independent point of view to the most pressing and urgent issues of our time — with coverage of politics, the economy, foreign affairs, technology, health and science. Its on-the-ground reporting puts facts and people first. With reporters in more than 50 cities across the country, Scripps News journalists live and work in the communities they cover.

Watch Scripps News live over-the-air or on any major streaming device and weekdays at 12:30pm on WFTS-ABC Action News.

Click here to meet the journalists, anchors, producers and leadership of Scripps News.

About the E.W. Scripps Company
From our founder E.W. Scripps’ first edition of The Penny Press, which delivered the daily news to Cleveland’s working class, to today’s investigative documentaries from Scripps News as well as enterprise reporting from our local television stations, Scripps journalists are dedicated to advancing understanding of the world around us.

More broadly, we share news, information and entertainment across an increasing number of media platforms. We know consumer habits are changing, and we evolve to meet their needs.

Today we are one of the nation’s largest local TV broadcasters, serving communities with quality, objective local journalism. We also reach nearly every American through our national networks business, including news outlets Court TV and Scripps News and entertainment brands ION, Bounce, Grit, Laff and ION Mystery. Audiences can find all of our brands over the air, over the top, on cable TV and satellite and through digital platforms.

However we deliver news and information, today and in the future, Scripps remains committed to the audiences and communities it serves, staying true to its motto since 1923: “Give light and the people will find their own way.”