Tricia Whitaker, formerly a sports anchor for WTTV-TV Channel 4 and WXIN-TV Channel 59, has been hired by Florida-based Fox Sports Sun to cover Tampa Bay Rays games in Tampa, Florida.
“I grew up loving baseball and spent my springs and summers not only watching countless games with my dad, but using every vacation as an excuse to visit a new MLB ballpark," Whitaker, a Florida native, said Wednesday in a media release. "I am so excited for the upcoming season and to be a part of the Rays as they build on the outstanding 90-win season they had in 2018.”
Whitaker announced earlier this week via social media that she had left her job with WTTV and WXIN in December. She didn't reveal her next career step at the time, but said an announcement would come soon.
"As many of you already know, December was my last month with @fox59 and @cbs4indy in Indy," Whitaker wrote in posts on several of her social media accounts Monday. " I cannot WAIT to share some incredibly exciting news with you all soon about where I'm heading to next. So stay tuned!'
Whitaker told IBJ that she started looking for new opportunities last summer, knowing that her local contract would expire in December.
"I didn’t want to do local news anywhere else but Indy. The Rays opportunity opened up at the beginning of the November, and that’s when I started the interview process with the Rays and Fox Sports Florida. So I worked through the final day of my contract and did not renew my contract," she said. "It was all pretty perfect timing."
Whitaker primarily appeared on WTTV. The two stations are owned by Tribune Media and occasionally share content and staff.
Whitaker, who joined the local stations in 2014, has deep Hoosier roots. She grew up in Bloomington and is a 2012 Indiana University graduate who formerly worked as a web reporter for the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever.
She started her TV career covering the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers for WBAY-TV in Green Bay.
"I can't explain how grateful I am for my time covering sports in my home state and telling the stories of the teams I grew up loving. Coming home was the best decision I have ever made," Whitaker wrote on social media.
Officials for Tribune media did not to immediately respond Wednesday morning to a request for comment.