83 Degrees, new weekly upbeat online magazine for greater Tampa Bay, goes live
As of this afternoon, Tampa Bay's finally got a new weekly online magazine with an upbeat message: 83 Degrees. It's a wee bit later than originally touted -- we first blogged about it in July -- but we're glad it's arrived. Here's the first issue.
"Today's the big day!" publisher and managing editor Diane Egner (in photo) emailed to me today. Here's how Egner, a former Tampa Tribune writer and editor, describes its origins -- including the choice of publication name:
"The name 83 Degrees emerged simply enough at sunset on a perfect day in April 2009 among a small group of early adaptors to the concept of creating a new weekly online magazine to showcase the region's success stories.
We were gathered around three tables on the balcony of the Columbia Cafe at the newly opened Tampa Bay History Center talking about the magazine's plans to showcase Tampa Bay's TIDE - Talent, Innovation, Diversity, Environment - and how we would shape its content.
"Sipping a round of Ybor Gold, Mojitos and Sangria in a toast to the city's culture and its surroundings, we talked about what unites Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Hernando, Manatee and Sarasota counties, and how the media plays a role in the mood of a region as well as in how it is perceived elsewhere."
The first issue looks at creative arts growth in Sarasota, how former hotels, churches and factories are being converted into new condos and loft apartments in Tampa and St. Petersburg, a preview of A Color Purple at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater and a Q&A with Draper Lab's Len Polizzotto.
Who's bankrolling 83 Degrees? Who isn't? The founding partners are these area economic development groups, institutions, companies and cities: the Tampa Bay Partnership, Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, University of Tampa, Tampa Bay Arts Coop (c/o Tampa Bay & Co.), Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. (just renamed from the Tampa Committee of One Hundred); Pinellas County Economic Development organization, phosphate/fertilizer producer Mosaic, AT&T - Florida, University of South Florida, USF Health, City of Tampa Economic Development, Tampa Downtown Partnership, Central Florida Economic Development, City of Clearwater and City of Largo.
Welcome aboard, 83 Degrees!
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist