I’m Chris Cato. You’ll see me anchoring weeknights at 11 p.m. alongside Cynthia Smoot and reporting stories in other newscasts. My family and I just moved here from Philadelphia. AND IT FEELS GOOD TO BE BACK IN THE SUNSHINE STATE! Especially this time of year. (While I loved the Philadelphia area, I’m not a huge fan of snow and bitter wind and other things that come with winter up North. Blame it on my warm-blooded roots…)
I grew up on a little farm near Birmingham, Alabama. My parents still live there. I graduated from Troy University, which is where I met my amazing wife, Carmen. We have a young son who keeps us busy. And while he did enjoy the snow up north, he had no problem trading that for swimming pools, easy beach access, and close proximity to amusement parks!
My news career actually started in Florida, at WMBB in Panama City! I’ll never forget anchoring 12 straight hours of coverage during Hurricane Ivan in 2004, “The Year of the Hurricane” in Florida.
I left WMBB in 2005 to work at WSPA in Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina. I covered a lot of major stories during my time there, everything from a serial killer to an affair in the governor’s office, but my most fulfilling moment came through some of the investigative work I did. We uncovered proof of groundwater pollution beneath a community that has a long history of cancer; our work forced a large corporation to expand its cleanup of the groundwater and resulted in a class action lawsuit by affected property owners. I was honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow and several other awards for that series of stories.
2012 brought me to WCAU in Philadelphia. I anchored the weekday morning news and recently won an Emmy as part of that team. During my three years in Philly, I reported live from the scenes of several memorable national stories including Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, and Pope Francis’s historic U.S. visit. I also traveled to the Vatican and Rome to file stories ahead of the pope’s visit.
As I said, I loved Philadelphia, but when the opportunity came along to work at FOX 13 and return to that famous Florida sunshine -- and be closer to family -- I knew I had to pounce on it! I am proud to work at such a dynamic TV station that has a legacy of delivering the best coverage to the Tampa Bay market. I look forward to getting to know you, and I’m ready for all your suggestions on where to eat and what to see and do in this beautiful area that I’m excited to call home!