Tonning came to the Tampa CBS affiliate four year ago, making changes along the way that may have pushed the edge of traditional journalism. “You’ve got to make sure you’re providing information the way viewers want,” Tonning told the Times. “It’s that kind of stepping out and getting noticed that makes a difference.”
The 68-year-old general manager is credited with returning the station to its “10 News” brand, adding a more in-your-face style of reporting reminiscent of the style seen in South Florida, and adding a 9:00 a.m. newscast focused on issues important to women.
Tonning began his career with ABC in 1974. He worked as an account executive at Gannett’s Atlanta NBC afiliate WXIA before being named general sales manager of Gannett’s KUSA in Denver in 1985. Two years later he was promoted to vice president and station manager before moving on to Gannett’s WLTV as general manager in 1989.