Bay New 9 anchor Erica Riggins leaves for Welch administration

Mayor Ken Welch appointed Spectrum Bay News 9 morning anchor Erica Riggins as the city’s chief information officer.

ST. PETERSBURG –- Mayor Ken Welch announced Bay News 9 morning anchor Erica Riggins as the new public information officer.

Along with the Riggins announcement, the mayor revealed other key appointments, including Jordan Doyle Walsh as interim chief of staff, Alizza Punzalan-Randle as managing director for communications and community engagement and Shelly Loos as director of stakeholder and community engagement.

“I’m incredibly excited to announce these impactful appointments to our administration,” said Mayor Welch. “Their decades of work in the community will prove invaluable as we continue our mission towards inclusive progress. Collaborating with the community and key stakeholders is imperative to ensuring transparency and accountability at all levels of this administration. I look forward to working alongside our current and new team members to serve the people of our great city, continuing our partnership to build the St. Petersburg of the future while honoring those who were so instrumental in shaping our past.”

The new appointments come on the heels of two key staff members’ resignations earlier this month. On Sept. 1, former Communication Director Janelle Irwin Taylor resigned, citing a “culture of bullying” fostered by former Deputy Mayor and Chief of Policy Stephanie Owens.

The next day, Owens tendered her resignation. In a news conference, Welch announced the deputy mayor position would be deleted.

Erica Riggins has served as a celebrity guest judge at the 22nd annual Dine With Men Who Cook competition sponsored by the men of Bethel A.M.E. Church for years. Pictured above in 2017.

For nearly 20 years, Tampa Bay viewers have been waking up to Riggins on “Your Morning News.” She is an award-winning journalist and a staple in the community.

A Texas native, Riggins’ broadcasting career had an unusual beginning. Graduating as a mechanical engineer from the University of Texas at Austin, she put her degree to work as an equipment engineer for Motorola. Over the next several years, as she grew within the company, she realized that she wanted to be a part of something bigger and make a difference in her community.

Riggins then set out on a new career path. She returned to school to study communications and television journalism, beginning her new career in Sherman, Texas, as a weekend anchor and reporter for KXII-TV. From there, she returned to her hometown to report for the 24-hour local news channel News 8 Austin, now Spectrum News and later anchored the evening news.

Always looking for new challenges, Riggins moved to the Tampa Bay area to serve as weekend morning anchor for Spectrum Bay News 9. Recognized for her exceptional achievements, she won an Emmy award for Outstanding Live Report for her story on students protesting the Iraq war.

Erica Riggins hosted the 47th annual Sickle Cell Benefit Dinner in 2019.

Riggins also won the prestigious national Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Documentary for a series of reports focusing on the growing and disturbing trends of child abuse and countless other awards.

She has a passion for uplifting and protecting children. She’s proud to be a new advisory board member for the Heart Gallery of Pinellas and Pasco, a Gulf Coast JCFS program connecting foster children with their forever homes.

You’ll find her spending most of her time in area parks and playgrounds with her three young sons.

9 Replies to “Bay New 9 anchor Erica Riggins leaves for Welch administration”

  1. Ramona says:

    OMGOODNESS…I am going to miss seeing Erica on Bay News 9… She’s the reason we watch it and keep this channel on cable. OMG She is phenomenal!!!! So very Proud of Erica Riggins. We Pray for her success in this new journey 🙏🏽. I didn’t realize she did so much and came from a multi educational background. Huge accomplishments. Warmest of Wishes to you Ms. Erica Riggins 💞💝🌹🎆😘

    1. Audrey Echols Green says:


  2. Ramona says:

    Eric you and your Boys look genuinely beautiful together, so happy for you and them. They will bring you more joy and love than you can imagine 💞
    You are a beautiful soul young lady.
    Simply Beautiful. Thanks for all you do for your country and local residence families.

  3. Maria Williams-Smart says:

    Even though I will miss seeing Erica on the morning news, I congratulate her on her new appointment.

  4. Angelita Osorio says:

    Yes, I will miss Erica’ s warm smile and great reporting. Best wishes on your new endevours.

  5. Nancy Kline says:

    Loved watching Erica and Jorja together – both super professional anchors! Just beautiful!! Congratulations Erica on your new position.

  6. william brown says:

    hello erica congratulation on your new job you did a great job on the anchor 9 news everyone going to miss you and your beautiful smile that I watch you and others anchors also, I which you Good Luck !

  7. Charles Porter says:

    Erica congratulation! you’re going to be Miss by me with my morning coffee. The morning is just not the same. You was a good anchor. You did the morning news for many years by yourself. congratulation and good luck.


    Erica’s dad would be proud. So am I!

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