WTSP investigative reporter Mike Deeson pulled a surprise retirement announcement on his Facebook page last night.
“I know this will come as a surprise to many of my friends in Tampa Bay, but I have decided to retire from Channel 10 effective today,” wrote Deeson, who has worked at the TEGNA-owned station since 1982. “At 68 years old, it’s something I have been thinking about for a while especially because of the changing landscape of TV news, and I know this is the right time.”
On his station bio, Deeson says his first TV job was shooting black and white silent film at KOMU in Columbia, Missouri.
There’s been a fair amount of turnover of high profile talent at the Tampa-St. Petersburg CBS affiliate in the last few months. Last week, veteran anchor Dion Lim signed off from the station. In September, chief meteorologist Jim Van Fleet left about a week after GM Elliott Wiser did and then sued the station, alleging managers spread false rumors about him and “set him up for disciplinary action” so they could replace him with another meteorologist. Yesterday we learned Kate Wentzel is moving to West Palm Beach, though we can’t confirm what station she’s heading to.
On Friday we announced WFMY chief meteorologist Grant Gilmore was joining the station from TEGNA’s Greensboro, N.C. CBS affiliate.
Deeson says his sudden notice was because he “didn’t want the long goodbye tour; I would rather rip off the bandage and go forward with my decision immediately,” said Deeson. “My nature is to come to a conclusion and act on it quickly without looking back.”
It is with mixed emotions after 35 years at WTSP I have decided now is the time to retire from Channel 10https://t.co/HGkNIEj3ku
— Mike Deeson (@MikeDeeson) March 6, 2017