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Christopher Spata, Times Staff Writer

Christopher Spata

Christopher Spata is a web producer and features writer for the Tampa Bay Times, focusing on entertainment, pop culture, social media and things to do. He also contributes to The Feed blog. A lifelong Floridian, he previously worked as a web producer and entertainment reporter for the Tampa Tribune, and covered sports for the Ocala Star-Star Banner. He graduated from the University of South Florida in 2011, and joined the Times in 2016.

Phone: (727) 893-8719


Twitter: @spatatimes

  1. Sports anchor Tom Korun leaving WFTS after decades in Tampa Bay TV


    WFTS ABC Action News sports anchor and director Tom Korun is retiring from broadcasting after more than 14 years at the station and 31 years on Tampa Bay TV screens.

    Korun announced the news via Twitter, saying that he'll leave the job on Dec. 15. 

    Tom Korun is retiring after 31 years on Tampa Bay television.
  2. WEDU now airing some PBS shows lost to the WUSF shutdown


    WUSF TV went off the air Sunday after more than 50 years, a victim of the University of South Florida selling off its broadcast license to the Federal Communications Commission so they could auction off those valuable airwaves to commercial wireless service providers.

    While content that was produced by USF's WUSF stations is gone, many of the PBS shows that appeared on WUSF are moving over to Tampa Bay's other PBS member station, WEDU....

    PBS series "Doc Martin" is among the programming being added by WEDU.
  3. The artist who may or may not have created St. Petersburg's butt graffiti has a legit art show and a new mural


    Remember the local artist who would neither confirm nor deny creating the triple-cheek butt graffiti that was frequently spotted around downtown St. Petersburg a few months back?

    You can now own an original work by Jeremy Trevino, whose comical pen and ink drawings often feature feet being used as hands, which means that butts often end up being heads. Hard to picture? You'll just have to see it....

    The flier for Jeremy Trevino's art exhibition at The Bends. The opening was last weekend, but the drawings will remain on display through October.
  4. These Tampa Bay 'swolemates' work hard at fitness and love


    ...You know the couple. The one posting those sweaty gym pics with the #fitcouple and #mealprep and #coupleswholift tags, with expressions of absolute bliss.

    They're swolemates, soul mates who like to get "swole" together, and they're making it look fun.

    And why not?

    A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that after participating in a physical challenge or activity, couples reported feeling more satisfied and in love with their partner. Various studies also have shown that working out with a partner can increase frequency of workouts and boost performance during those sessions....

    Chris Werner gives girlfriend Kaeli Ellis a lift during a workout inside the ANX at Anytime Fitness in downtown St. Petersburg.
  5. Want to be Santa? Be ready for tough questions and heartbreaking requests

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Santa and Mrs. Claus drove their red Dodge Grand Caravan with the "Kringle" license plate from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to a Hampton Inn near Tampa International Airport last weekend. There they paid $299 to attend a two-day school for Santas.

    In the hotel's meeting room, two dozen older, naturally bearded men, and one "Clark Kent," the industry term for fake beard wearers, sat in reindeer bowling shirts and red leather cowboy boots. They read textbooks titled Behind the Red Suit and scrawled pages of notes....

    Bob Elkin, president of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas sports a pair of red boots during the weekend-long School4Santas at Hampton Inn Tampa-International Airport/Westshore on Saturday, October 7, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times
  6. Top Halloween costumes for 2017? Google says strong women


    If you're putting any real effort into your Halloween costume, you've probably already started working on it. Google has the proof: enough people have searched costumes this year, that Google Trends can say these are the top Halloween costumes of 2017 — and strong women are in style. 

    This year's top 5 most-Googled costumes are:

    1. WONDER WOMAN...

    Wonder Woman is the top-searched costume this year.
  7. Vitale Bros. in running to pitch St. Pete 'Mini Lights' movie to Duplass Brothers


    As we've reported before, local artists the Vitale Brothers are working on a Mini Lights "skater horror film" based on the urban legend involving St. Petersburg's Booker Creek, a witch and little green creatures that come out after dark. ...

    The Vitale Bros. painted this Mini Lights mural in Roser Park.
  8. Top 5 at Noon: Bondi says its time to shut down Tampa housing predators; Tensions boil over as Gov. Scott meets with representatives


    Here are the latest headlines and updates on


    During the foreclosure crisis, a lot of investors made a lot of money off the misfortune of others. But few were as prolific as Jimmy Dean Chancey and his nephew, Michael Chancey. Through a myriad of companies, the duo has acquired scores of houses in the Tampa Bay and Jacksonville areas for as little as $10 apiece. Here's why the office of Attorney General Pam Bondi is trying to put the duo out of business, and put an end to their "scheme."...

    The owner of this Tampa property deeded it over to a company run by Jimmy Cnancey. The property is worth $230,000. Chancey's company, HOA Problem Solutions in Tampa, is under investigation by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's office. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times]
  9. Tampa Bay's first geek bar is for Star Trek and Harry Potter, not the NFL

    Food & Dining

    LARGO — It happened not long after Tampa Bay's first "geek bar" opened its doors. Someone, perhaps one of the guys who frequented the Irish pub that used to be there, asked the question the new owners knew was coming: "Can you put the game on?"

    Owner Kevin Daniels politely declined. Then he printed a sign — call it the bar's spiritual mission statement — and taped it to the front door....

    This sign placed in the window of Waypoint 6 Tavern and Geekery telling customers that the bar and restaurant does not show traditional sports attracted attention online far beyond Florida. [Courtesy of Kevin Daniels]
  10. Watch the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer during Monday Night Football, or 'avoid it' like its director says


    A new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi will premiere tonight during Monday Night Football on ESPN, although director Rian Johnson isn't sure if he wants you to watch it.

    Johnson took to Twitter to comment on the first full trailer, saying, "If you want to come in clean, absolutely avoid it."

    Does that mean there's some kind of big plot reveal coming in the new trailer?...

    Two of the newly-released posters for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
  11. OJ Simpson's lawyer says Florida's 'stupid b----' attorney general used OJ for political gain


    OJ Simpson's lawyer Malcolm Lavergne is outraged with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, blasting her as "possibly the stupidest person on the planet."

    Bondi's office released a letter Friday urging the Florida Department of Corrections to deny Simpson a transfer to serve parole in Florida now that he has been released from prison on kidnapping and armed robbery charges. She called Simpson a "scofflaw" whose notoriety would be a drain on law enforcement....

    Malcolm Lavergne, left, OJ Simpson and Florida attorney general Pam Bondi.
  12. OJ Simpson's lawyer blasts Bondi as 'stupid,' says Simpson definitely coming to Florida


    OJ Simpson's lawyer Malcolm Lavergne is outraged with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, blasting her as "possibly the stupidest person on the planet."

    Bondi's office released a letter Friday urging the Florida Department of Corrections to deny Simpson a transfer to serve parole in Florida now that he has been released from prison on kidnapping and armed robbery charges. She called Simpson a "scofflaw" whose notoriety would be a drain on law enforcement....

    Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson enters for his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool, File)
  13. Pam Bondi to Nevada: Florida doesn't want OJ Simpson


    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says OJ Simpson is not welcome in Florida.

    In a letter addressed to Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie L. Jones, Bondi asks the department to immediately notify authorities in Nevada that Florida objects to granting Simpson permission to transfer to Florida to serve parole for a 2008 conviction on robbery and kidnapping charges....

    OJ Simpson could request a transfer to Florida to serve parole, but Pam Bondi says Florida should deny it.
  14. Rays' Evan Longoria, original Hooters girl Lynne Austin and other Tampa Bay voices on Hugh Hefner's death


    From Rays reporter Marc Topkin: The passing of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner meant a little more to 3B Evan Longoria and his wife, Jaime Edmondson, a former model and Playmate who lived adjacent to the Playboy Mansion for several years. ...

    Evan Longoria and wife Jaimie Edmondson, a former Miss January.
  15. Tampa Bay Playboy playmates and partiers remember Hugh Hefner


    Hugh Hefner, the creator of Playboy magazine and one of the most recognizable brands on earth, died of natural causes at his home, the Playboy Mansion, Wednesday at 91.

    By most accounts, the man who in 1953 started the magazine at his kitchen table with a $1,000 loan from his parents, then spun it into a global empire of publishing, television and beyond, lived up to the suave, gentlemanly and libidinous persona he cultivated — the benevolent king of a manor where the parade of a specific type of beautiful women, lavish parties and a certain red-blooded American male archetype never died....

    From right, Donald Trump chats with Hugh Hefner and Hefner's girlfriends, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson, during Hefner's 80th birthday party at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on April 9, 2006. [New York Times]