Jacksonville broadcasters make news

We not only broadcast the news, some developments in our industry and transitions of local broadcasters sometimes becomes news. We collect and share it with our members in case they missed something, and because it’s part of the living history of our business.

IN THE NEWS - 2024

Freddie Rhodes Eras Tour

After a remarkable 53-year career at WJXT — the last quarter century as studio manager for The Morning ShowFreddie Rhodes retired from television in January 2024. But he’s continuing his radio job! (Watch JBA Oral History with Rhodes.)

Ed McCullers as Skipper Ed

Ed McCullers didn’t set out to become “Skipper Ed” in 1961. He would go on to host a live children’s TV show on WFGA (later WTLV) for the next decade. On Jan. 20, 2024, The Florida Times-Union’s Matt Soergel revisits McCullers’ unexpected and memorable career.

IN THE NEWS - 2023

In loving memory
  • Isaac “Hesley” Bostic Jr., a longtime newscast director at WJXT, his December 2022 death was announced in January 2023.
  • Michael Dillin, investigative reporter at the Florida Times-Union, WJXT, and WTLV from the 1970s through the 1990s, died March 24, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • John Cermack, much-loved studio manager at WJXT for 16 years, died suddenly on May 25, 2023.
  • Kenneth LeSesne II died June 19, 2023. Over 41 years at WTLV, he held many roles, camera operator to national regional sales manger.
  • We also lost George Winterling and Ben Frazier in 2023. Scroll to learn about their legacy.

After more than 30 years on WJXT’s evening news broadcasts, anchor Mary Baer and chief meteorologist John Gaughan both retired at the end of May 2023.

Donna Deegan, who co-anchored WTLV’s evening newscasts for 24 years, was elected mayor of Jacksonville in May 2023 and was sworn in on July 1.

Voters also elected former WJKS and WJXT anchor Joyce Morgan as Property Appraiser and long-time WTLV reporter Ken Amaro was elected to Jacksonville City Council.

George Winterling died on June 21, 2023, at age 81. Hired at WJXT as Jacksonville’s first broadcast meteorologist in 1962, he became legendary for helping to invent many of the tools that evolved TV weathercasting into an essential part of every local newscast.

WATCH: George Winterling: A man for all seasons

Ben Frazier, a trailblazing TV journalist in the 1970s who later became one of Jacksonville’s leading crusaders for racial justice, died June 24, 2023 — one day after his 73rd birthday.

WATCH: From broadcaster to changemaker: The life and legacy of Ben Frazier