Media converge on Tampa for primary

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NBC News set up shop on the banks of the Hillsborough River.

Fox News Channel chose a spot on Harbour Island.

Reporters from national news outlets have descended on Tampa to cover today’s Republican presidential primary, highlighting how prominent Florida is in the political landscape and giving residents a preview of the crush of media expected to roll into town for the Republican National Convention in August.

About 25 percent of Florida’s 4 million registered Republicans live in the Tampa Bay area.

NBC News and national correspondent Steve Handelsman chose The News Center, 200 S. Parker St., Tampa, for its headquarters. The building houses WFLA-TV, The Tampa Tribune and

NBC network reporters turned a dining area on the building’s fourth floor into a makeshift newsroom filled with rows of laptops and phones.

Crews hooked up camera and recording equipment on the rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline.

Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier picked Harbour Island as the backdrop for his show, “Special Report With Bret Baier,” on the eve of the primary.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.