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TV20 legends celebrate 50th anniversary on air in North Central Florida

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 5:37 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Technology, on-air talent, and the times have changed over the last 50 years here at TV 20. One thing we’ve kept consistent is that community comes first.

“The sense of community was so strong,” said former news anchor Bob Williams.

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To celebrate 50 years on air, we honor the TV20 legends who brought life into the station since 1971. Dave Collins, Mel Turner and Ron Bates joined the team in the 1970s as anchor, weather forecaster and photographer, respectively.

“Beat calls, how many times do you make beat calls when you’re on the assignment desk? About six times a day, everybody was on the list,” said Collins. “So we did that and people began to trust us and call us with story ideas. And you know what? The best stories come from the people in the community because they’re the ones that are affected.”

It took leaders like Collins, Turner, and Bates in the 70s to set the tone for years to come.

“And when you tell the story of what somebody does and then you tell it with integrity and you tell it with the facts,” added Collins. “That translates to the viewer.”

In the 1980s, former news director and anchor, Bob Williams and our evening anchor Paige Beck came to TV20.

“People feel like we’re a part of their family and part of the community,” said Williams. “My favorite was Richard Simmons when I introduced him on the air and that is the one time I completely lost the show.”

They say it took all hands on deck to make sure local news stayed local and there have been countless memorable moments along the way.

WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE:

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