Pulitzer-winning reporter Will Hobson latest in Tampa Bay Times exodus

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Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Will Hobson is the newest staffer to announce his exit from the financially troubled Tampa Bay Times.

“Thrilled to say I’m joining @washingtonpost next month to cover national sports news,” Hobson said on his Twitter feed Wednesday afternoon. “Excited, intimidated, and incredibly thankful.”

Hobson, a Miami native, has been with the Times since 2011. He covers Hillsborough County government and “other things he can convince his editors to let him write,” says his Times bio.

In 2014, Hobson received the Pulitzer for local reporting on a series about abusive property owners and squalid housing conditions for the homeless.

“It’s been an incredibly rewarding three years here at ,” he tweeted.

Prior to joining the Times, the Boston College alumnus served as a correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer and held a number of staff writer roles at the Panama City News-Herald and Daytona Beach News-Journal. Hobson began at the Times covering the city of Largo and on the general assignment beat in Pinellas County.

Hobson is the latest staffer to leave the Times, which started offering employee buyout options earlier this year. In November, enterprise editor Bill Duryea and reporter Michael Kruse said they would be leaving for similar roles at POLITICO; food and travel writer Janet Keeler announced she accepted a position at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Prior to that, more than two dozen staff writers, reporters, editors and others accepted buyouts, including Florida lifestyle columnist Jeff Klinkenberg, sportswriter Gary Shelton, reporter Joe Childs and city editor Heather Urquides.

Prompting the Times’ exodus is the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the paper’s legal owner, which reported losing nearly $3.5 million in 2013 — the third consecutive year of million-dollar-plus losses.

In October, the paper had begun staff layoffs.

Photo via Tampa Bay Times.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.