powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes


Sign o' the times: cutbacks claim former WFAA8 personality Bill Ratliff after generation-spanning career in Tampa

Bill Ratliff, former co-host of Dallas-based WFAA8's PM Magazine with Leeza Gibbons, is calling it quits at Tampa, Florida's WFLA-TV after 27 years as an anchor.

In short, the station made him an offer he could refuse -- fewer hours and far less pay, according to a story by Tampa Bay Tribune TV critic Walt Belcher.

Ratliff, 60, joined WFLA-TV in 1982, shortly after leaving PM that same year.

"It's been a great ride, but the economy did me in," he says.

WFLA news director Don North told the Tribune, "We really wanted him to stay. But the news business is changing at an unprecedented pace, and in this tough economy we've had to make some difficult decisions.

WFLA carries NBC programming and WFAA is an ABC affiliate. Ironically, though, both are Channel 8s.

Ratliff and Gibbons can be seen fleetingly as PM co-hosts in a vintage WFAA sales video recently posted on unclebarky.com.