Entravision Communications Corporation announced that it will launch WVEA-TV Channel 62, serving the Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL market. WVEA-TV, a full-power UHF television station covering all 10 counties in the Tampa-St. Petersburg DMA, began broadcasting as the Univision affiliate on March 30, 2001. Lilly Gonzalez will serve as General Manager of the station. Entravision currently owns and operates Channel 61, a low powered Univision affiliate serving Hillsborough County in Florida.
Tampa-St. Petersburg is the 19th largest Hispanic household market and according to recent US Census data, recorded a 90% increase in the Hispanic population over the last decade. With over 350,000 Hispanics in the DMA, Tampa's Hispanic population has grown at seven and a half times the rate of non-Hispanics, accounting for over 31% of the total population growth in the market. The average household income of Hispanic consumers in the Tampa market is $45,000, totaling $5.5 billion in buying power.
Walter F. Ulloa, Chairman and CEO of Entravision, commented, "We are excited to expand our service to the growing Hispanic community in the Tampa Bay area, delivering Univision's compelling programming coupled with our local news coverage and off-air presence. Our entry into the Tampa market with WVEA-TV, a full powered television station, and our existing full power Orlando television station, WNTO-TV, expands our presence in the key Hispanic markets of Central Florida. The launch of WVEA-TV is in line with our commitment to upgrade our television broadcast coverage in those markets where we operate low power television stations and serve the Spanish speaking communities in the nation's fastest growing Hispanic markets."