They ought to make a soap opera: As the Cable Deal Turns.
In the latest twists and turns of cable TV transactions, Charter Communications is reported to be close to buying Time Warner Cable. This time the transaction may also include Bright House Networks, the prominent Tampa Bay area cable provider.
Both deals could happen as early as today, the Wall Street Journal reported without naming sources....
One of the very few Florida property insurers that is "A" rated by one of the state's leading private rating firms is rapidly downsizing. State-run Citizens Property Insurance is busy handing hundreds of thousands of its Florida policyholders in bulk to young, lower-rated small insurers in the state.
Many have never handled a hurricane claim.
If that scenario gives pause on the eve of Florida's 2015 hurricane season, it should....
05/20/15 Economic Development
Last summer, citing a Tampa economic development official, the Tampa Bay Times reported that a division of Ashley Furniture — one of the nation's biggest furniture brands — planned to move 300 employees into Centro Ybor.
Today, that plan — or at least an updated version of it — looks like it will become official as Tampa economic development, political and business leaders gather in Ybor City at Centro Ybor at 11 a.m. to formally announce a significant company expansion and more jobs coming to the area....
Business-friendly Florida? Gov. Rick Scott says yes, yes, yes.
The latest national analysis says no, no, no.
A study by MarketWatch, part of the Dow Jones company that publishes the Wall Street Journal, ranked the 100 largest metro areas in the country using 23 economic measures to decide which urban markets are the most and least friendly to business.
Dallas landed at No. 1. And Florida metros — the same our governor travels the country touting as the best for biz? Well, Miami ranked No. 37, with Tampa Bay and Orlando trailing at No. 46 and 47, respectively. Poor Lakeland scraped by near the bottom at No. 98....
Days after U.S. special operations forces conducted a successful raid against ISIS leaders in Syria, Tampa's SOCom (U.S. Special Operations Command) at MacDill Air Force Base will introduce a new way to feed its soldiers in the field a steady flow of the most advanced and innovative military equipment.
SOCom officials, economic development and business leaders will unveil plans today to create a research and development accelerator in Tampa Heights. Its goal: to design and expedite advanced technology and military goods for special operations forces....
05/15/15 Personal Finance
For a cornerstone phrase decreasing numbers of Americans identify with and today's presidential candidates steer away from, "middle class" remains one very hot topic.
That's because the very concept of the middle class — in which a U.S. family can make enough money to afford a home, a car, health care, child care, a yearly vacation and their kids' education — is increasingly in jeopardy....
Duke Energy pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to environmental crimes and agreed to pay $102 million in fines and restitution for illegally discharging pollution into the Dan River from coal-ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants.
That's how AP reported the event, using words like pleaded and guilty and crimes and illegally to capture the point that Duke messed up big time. Again....
I'm not sure Jimmy Buffett's Wasting Away in Margaritaville lyrics send the best message to graduating college students. Perhaps the theme of his song Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes better fits the bill for grads trying new things in new places.
Speaking at the University of Miami, Buffett's casual style — wearing flip-flops (of course) beneath his honorary doctorate robes — belied a musical and now business brand phenom who owns restaurant, liquor and hotel chains....
It sounds like some over-the-top plot from a TV soap like Empire or Scandal or even the movie The Wolf of Wall Street.
A successful entrepreneur, one of this region's richest men, hands much of his fortune over to an ambitious woman to invest in her role as stock broker for a high-profile Wall Street firm. But it turns out the man, who is married, and woman are also intimately involved....
Bloomin' Brands CEO Liz Smith and executive vice president David Deno did their best to verbally wine and dine top restaurant analysts Tuesday morning.
The two Tampa execs were eager to convince their bean-counting audience that the company's first-quarter earnings were strong and Bloomin's four chains — Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's — are by and large outperforming most competitors....
What's ahead for Tampa Bay banks and their customers?
• Fewer branches.
• More automated services.
• More small-bank mergers.
• Bunches of banks competing in a slowly improving economy.
• Regulators wary of a sharp rise in lending that may become too risky.
• Bigger banks still fighting lousy public perceptions.
Let's call these the six top banking trends for the Tampa Bay and the Florida markets....
Five short years after Tampa philanthropist and Sykes Enterprises founder John Sykes decided to launch his own brokerage firm, he's selling it to a Minneapolis-based financial firm, Ameriprise Financial.
Ameriprise on Tuesday said it will buy the retail assets of privately owned JHS Capital Advisors — "JHS" stands for John H. Sykes — which provides brokerage and financial advice to clients via 150 financial advisers nationwide....
Neither new ad campaigns nor the muscular redesign of cartoon superhero Captain Citrus have yet to turn the tide on dipping retail sales of U.S. orange juice. Blame rising drink competition, changing public tastes and stiffer OJ prices.
Numbers released Monday show retail orange juice sales, in the four weeks ended April 11, fell 5.9 percent from the same period a year ago. U.S. consumers bought 38.7 million gallons of juice in those four weeks, compared with 41 million gallons in the year-earlier period, say Nielsen data published by the Florida Department of Citrus....
The dominoes are falling.
Cable TV giant Comcast's decision on Friday to call off its proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable set in motion a series of moves by others in the cable industry with consequences for Tampa Bay cable customers.
Federal regulators balked over the Comcast-Time Warner merger because it would have given the combined company control of nearly half of the nation's broadband market and almost a third of pay television service....
04/24/15 Economic Development
A creative arts icon called the Studio@620 that recently celebrated a decade in downtown St. Petersburg is now taking steps it hopes will assure the next 10 years.
It's a remarkable success story — so far — thanks to the passion and hard work of its founders, sponsors, volunteers, an energetic board and, most of all, the charismatic personality and insatiable curiosity of founding artistic director Bob Devin Jones....