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Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

Robert Trigaux

Robert Trigaux joined the Times as a business writer in 1991. In 2000, he began writing a business column three times a week. He served as business editor from 2005 to 2008, when he resumed his role as business columnist. While at the Times, he has covered a range of beats including banking and finance, technology, telecommunications, energy and economic development. He has received various awards for business writing, including two Green Eyeshades from the Society of Professional Journalists, a commendation for column writing from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and a first place in business columns from the National Association of Newspaper Columnists.

In the late 1970s, Robert started his business journalism career in New York writing for various business publications covering topics from technology to the furniture industry. At the American Banker, a daily national newspaper, he covered the financial industry in New York and London, then served for eight years as its bureau chief in Washington, D.C. He holds an economics degree from Colgate University.

Phone: (727) 893-8405

Email: trigaux@tampabay.com

Blog: Venture

Twitter: @VentureTampaBay

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  1. Enterprise Florida CEO Bill Johnson seeks new state business brand

    Business

    Three months into his role as Florida secretary of commerce and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Bill Johnson comes across as a veritable pit bull of salesmanship — a state official on a job-recruiting mission with jaws firmly clamped on the prize.

    In forceful remarks made Tuesday to Tampa business leaders, Johnson said Enterprise Florida — the state's job-recruiting arm — has 300 deals in the works involving potential job expansions across Florida. But Tampa and Hills­borough County are leaders of the pack, recently unveiling job deals for Ashley Furniture's e-commerce operation in Ybor City and for startup Inspirata tapping cancer technology from Moffitt Cancer Center. ...

    Bill Johnson praised the Tampa Bay area’s jobs deals.
  2. Will Charter grab both Time Warner and Bright House Networks?

    Business

    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....

    Charter Communications is close to buying Time Warner Cable for about $55 billion, two people familiar with the negotiations said Monday. [Associated Press]
  3. Hurricane season: Amid threat of storms, doubt over property insurers

    Banking

    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....

    How would Florida's changing insurance industry be able to handle things if a violent hurricane like Charley hit a major metro area like Tampa Bay. In this aerial photograph, debris from homes destroyed by Charley litters the waterways that surround much of Punta Gorda. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)
  4. Heart of Ybor looks to be big winner with Ashley Furniture arrival

    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....

    Ashley Furniture employs about 20,000 people and generates $3.85 billion annually selling beds, sofas, tables and chairs.
  5. Tampa Bay and Florida far from top in business-friendly rankings

    Business

    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....

  6. In Tampa Heights, SOCom R&D accelerator will keep forces on cutting edge

    Business

    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....

  7. Once an economic bedrock, 'middle class' feels unattainable to many

    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....

  8. Trigaux: Behind Duke Energy's guilty plea, plenty of arrogance and negligence

    Energy

    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....

    In this April 25, 2014, file photo, Bryant Gobble, left, hugs his wife, Sherry Gobble, right, as they look from their yard across an ash pond full of dead trees toward Duke Energy's Buck Steam Station in Dukeville, N.C. Duke says it will provide bottled water to residents living near coal ash pits in North Carolina. So far, more than 150 residential wells tested near Duke's dumps have failed to meet state groundwater standards. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File) GARV201
  9. To Class of 2015 grads, speakers dig deep to find nuggets of advice

    Business

    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....

    Jimmy Buffett gave the Class of 2015 commencement address at the University of Miami: “I took a little while but I got my act together,” he said. “These days I am up about the time I used to go to bed.”
  10. Trigaux: Inside the messy battle over Morgan Stanley's handling of HSN co-founder's fortune

    Business

    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....

  11. As restaurant analysts ask, 'Where's the beef?' Bloomin' execs say, 'Right here'

    Retail

    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....

  12. In Florida upturn, surplus of banks vies for more customers, sharper image

    Banking

    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....

  13. Tampa business icon John Sykes sells JHS Capital Advisors to Ameriprise

    Banking

    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....

    Ameriprise Financial will buy the retail assets of John H. Sykes’ JHS Capital Advisors.
  14. Trigaux: Amid falling demand and disease, Florida orange crop hunts for fix

    Agriculture

    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....

    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. [iStockphoto.com]
  15. Trigaux: Will Charter Communications now spurn Bright House Networks?

    Business

    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....