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Tampa's WFTS News Goes HD; NYC's WNBC Eyes HD Soon

WFTS-TV in Tampa has transitioned its local evening news to 720p, becoming the first broadcaster in the market (DMA #12, which includes St. Petersburg and Sarasota) to make the leap, and one of only a handful of Florida stations to do so.

The Scripps station, an ABC affiliate, kicked off its HD era locally last weekend with its 6 p.m. newscast, according to the company.

Meanwhile, in the nation's largest TV market, WNBC-TV in New York City said this week it plans to go 1080i with its local news and public affairs programs starting Sept. 10. WNBC-HD, NBC Universal's flagship station, said it will be the only station in the tri-state area offering a 7 p.m. newscast on weeknights. It also plans to feature all its hourly newsbreaks (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) in HD.

The newsbreaks will be simulcast on digital channel WNBC 4.4 and fed online at, too, according to NBC Universal.

Nationally, about 55 stations are estimated to be airing local news in HD.