Questions, questions: Who will buy Trib? Who bought Knology? A 'Tampa' name in St. Pete?
For debt-strapped Media General, parent of the Tampa Tribune, it's been an especially rough stock ride these past five years. Most newspaper companies are under pressure.
Wake up and good morning. Five things you should know to start your Tampa Bay business day.
5. Anybody want to bid to buy the Tampa Tribune? Somebody's going to buy the paper which has been slashing staff (165 in the last round) to reduce costs and, as an optimistic Trib publisher Bill Barker told his own newspaper said Wednesday, things should only improve. Parent company Media General on Wednesday said it lost a whopping $34 million in the first quarter and is looking for ways to trim a heavy $658 million debt load. Read more from the company-owned Richmond Times-Dispatch. Media General said it's receiving "numerous inquiries" for its newspapers, either in bulk or individually. Stay tuned.
4. It trails well behind Bright House Network and Verizon as a cable TV provider in the Tampa Bay market, but Knology's still doing business here. And now it's been purchased and will go from a public to a private company owned by Avista Capital Parners. Avista's folding Knology into its existing cable TV company called WOW (WideOpenWest) in Denver, Colo. Here's the press release announcing the Knology acquisition. It does not sound like business will change much if at all in the Tampa Bay area, but the deal's ink is not even dry. Here's coverage on the deal from Bloomberg News.
3. So who is this guy Hunting Deutsch, who started his new job as Florida Gov. Rick Scott's latest choice to head the state Department of Economic Opportunity at $140,000 a year? Read more about the career banker here, here and here.
2. The $300 million sale of Tampa's Numara Software to BMC Software lead all merger/acquisiton deals in Florida in the first quarter of 2012, says the Tampa Bay Business Journal, citing numbers from a mergermarket.com report.
1. Some former Bank of Tampa execs lead by Fenn Giles are starting their own wealth management business. Read more here. But what I really want to know is when might we see the "Bank of Tampa" name showing up in downtown St. Petersburg in a prominent location?
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times