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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mystery ownership of Sunshine State News identified as CNN, but it's not



Sunshine State News surfaced in the Tallahassee press center last year as one of many web-based news organizations covering Florida government. Only the folks at Sunshine refused to disclose the investors financing its conservative-oriented news reports.

For the past year, though, a lengthy "Terms of Use'' agreement posted on Sunshine's website identified Cable News Network — CNN — as their "parent company.''

Officials at CNN are trying to figure out why.

"This doesn't sound right,'' CNN spokeswoman Bridget Leininger said. "We have no business arrangement with them.''

Sunshine State News Editor Nancy Smith again refused Wednesday to identify the organization's owners. When told that their website lists CNN as a parent company, Smith said in an e-mail, "I don't know where you see that. I'm looking.''

Shortly after the St. Petersburg Times identified the section where CNN was described as the parent company and another section that said Sunshine was operating in compliance with Georgia laws, the use agreement was changed to remove any reference to CNN or Georgia.

Story here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 6:05pm]


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