Friday, January 19, 2018
Business

RNC host committee, Bloomberg to host economic development seminars for CEOs

TAMPA — Business news powerhouse Bloomberg is teaming up with the Tampa Bay Host Committee on a series of economic development events aimed at wooing CEOs coming for the Republican National Convention.

No word yet on how many presentations, panel discussions or other events will take place or where they will be. Host committee president Ken Jones said likely topics for the multi-day series include health care, national defense and technology.

"This is an opportunity to highlight what we're doing, whether it's tourism, whether it's aviation, whether it's technology, whether it's agriculture," Gov. Rick Scott said Friday.

"It's a Republican convention," the governor said, but "the point is that we have the opportunity to highlight our state. There's going to be a lot of people who make decisions about job creation who will be coming to this convention."

During a news conference to announce the series, Scott said he would participate in a variety of ways, and "every one of them will be tied to, how do we sell Florida?"

The host committee made Friday's announcement at the University of South Florida's Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, which is expected to host some RNC events, but Jones said it's too soon to say whether those will include any of the economic development events.

For Bloomberg, both the RNC and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. provide an opportunity to showcase its evolution from a media company with a tight focus on business and finance to one that also reports on interactions — legislation, regulation and contracts — between business and government.

In Washington, Bloomberg has grown from 150 editorial employees to about 1,700 in two years through acquisitions and startups.

It plans to bring 150 people to the convention, up from a couple dozen four years ago. It also will team up with the Tampa Bay Business Journal to publish a daily magazine, Bloomberg Insider, during the convention.

That presence is "a reflection of how seriously we take the event and what a great opportunity we think it will be for us," said Norman Pearlstine, Bloomberg's chief content officer and co-chairman of its Bloomberg Government operation. "The focus on government and on the interaction of government and business is much more the story of Bloomberg in 2012 than it was in 2008."

Times staff writer Michael Van Sickler contributed to this report.

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