Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Tampa/St. Pete Divide Debatable

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Tampa/St. Pete Divide Debatable

Article excerpt

Resolved: The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times should host a presidential debate in Tampa.

Arguing for the affirmative is the Times, the only news organization among the dozen finalists to host one of the three presidential debates in 2000. The Times is proposing two sites, the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg or the campus of the University of South Florida, right in the hometown of its cross-bay rival Tampa Tribune.

Tribune Publisher Reid Ashe said he's not obsessed about the proposal, but he has let the Commission on Presidential Debates know that, if the candidates meet in Tampa, his paper should be involved. "One site is in our community, and one is in theirs, so I wrote them that if you do choose to do the event in Tampa, we would want to help out in any way we can," Ashe said.

Jeanne Grinstead, the Times assistant managing editor/projects, said Tampa Bay is all one community and that, anyway, the paper wants the debate for civic and not competitive reasons. …

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