Twenty five years ago on September 24th, St. Pete resident Elliott Wiser created Bay News 9, the popular 24-hour news channel based in Tampa Bay. What started out as a new TV station with 82 employees seen in 4 counties and 550,00 viewers ended up with 1.1 million viewers. He eventually expanded to Manatee, Polk, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties.
He spent 11 years as Vice President and General Manager of the channel. Elliott was creative force behind the channel’s popular news and weather programming that includes “Weather on the 9’s”, “Klystron 9”, extensive political coverage, community bureaus, an award-winning website, and constant breaking news coverage. .”
Bay News 9 was profitable by its third year, unheard of in the local 24-hour local news business. Over the years, the channel grew from just 80 employees to more than 150. It won numerous awards including the prestigious Edward R. Murrow national award for best local web site in 2010.
Elliott created Bay News 9 en Espanol, which was the country’s first 24-hour Spanish local news channel. He also developed Bay News 9’s Travel Weather Now, Tampa Bay on Demand, and Info Mas-a regional Spanish language network. In 2008, he launched Florida’s first 24-hour local sports channel, Bright House Sports Network. In 2012 that channel won rights to all Florida high school playoff games.
For eight years Elliott served as Corporate Vice President of News and Local Programming for Bright House Networks with 350 employees. Previously, Elliott served as a corporate Vice President for Time Warner Cable and was responsible for 12 news channels nationwide. He has consulted for news channels around the world including projects in China and Sweden. In 2011, Broadcasting and Cable Magazine named Elliott the “Next Wave of Leaders” in the media business.
Elliott is very involved the Tampa Bay community. He is on the Board at Bayfront Towers and Chairman of the Board at Pasadena Hospital and a member of St. Petersburg’s City Beautiful Commission. He is a former Trustee at the Florida Holocaust Museum, the Dali Museum, and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission; former Chairman of the President’s Advisory Council at Eckerd College; former Chairman of the Board at St. Pete General Hospital; former Vice Chairman at Largo Medical Center; and former board member for the Tampa Bay Red Cross.
Elliott has been married to Barbara for 37 years and is the proud father of 28-year-old Ashley, who works for Paramount Corporation in New York City.