Hi. I’m Chris Cato. I anchor the FOX 13 11 p.m. news with the amazing Cynthia Smoot. I also report stories and anchor in another newscasts as needed. My family and I moved to Tampa from Philadelphia in late 2015, so we’ve been here long enough to realize just how lucky we are to call this place home. (Especially in winter when the colors of sunset are so vivid they literally stop traffic!)
I grew up on a little farm near Oneonta, Alabama, where my parents taught me the values of faith, hard work, and helping others. I am eternally grateful to them. I graduated from Troy University (Go Trojans!) which is where I found the two greatest loves of my life: My wife, Carmen, and TV news -- the former far more important than the latter, but considering we met at the college TV station I’m not sure I would have the former without the latter. We have a young son who keeps us busy and dog named Biscuit who fiercely guards our home :-).
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 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.
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 welcome your suggestions on where to eat and what to see and do in this beautiful area that I’m excited to call home!