Broadcasting veteran Martin Giles dies at 81

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Martin Giles, a news anchor at WFLA-AM 970 for decades, has died. He was 81.

The news was first reported by WFLA radio.

Giles, a native of Plant City, started in broadcasting with Armed Forces Radio in the mid-1950s. He then served as a correspondent for the ABC Contemporary Network in New York before returning to the Tampa Bay area in the early 1980s to work as a reporter for TV station WTSP-Channel 10.

He became a news anchor at WFLA in 1985, and stayed there for 28 years, retiring in the winter of 2013.

Giles is survived by his wife, artist Ping Chen, and his daughter, Susan Giles Wantuck, who serves as midday news host, producer and reporter for WUSF 89.7 FM. She also serves as a music host on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.