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Tampa Tribune’s Laura Kinsler jumping ship to the Orlando Sentinel

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Tampa Tribune reporter Laura Kinsler is leaving the paper after a 15-year career there. Kinsler’s last day is August 20.

According to an internal email leaked to SaintPetersBlog, Kinsler will take a position as a business writer with the Orlando Sentinel’s subscriber-only online newsletter, GrowthSpotter.

“Laura has worked at the Tribune for 15 years, starting downtown at city hall with some goofball – oh, it was me – as her editor,” Tribune managing editor Ken Koehn wrote in an email announcing her upcoming departure.

According to the email, Kinsler’s scoop on the list of retailers coming to Tampa Premium Outlets caught the Sentinel’s eye in June.

Kinsler has covered stories ranging from reporting on the Steve LaBrake bribery scandal that led to a five-year prison sentence, Dick Greco’s then-unprecedented trip to Cuba and working on the 2000 presidential election recount. More recently she has served as a county government reporter.

Koehn’s email includes some personal touches highlighting Kinsler’s relationship with other staffers.

He wrote that she spent years “terrorizing John McCoy with holiday decorations – including a dancing Santa and giant inflatable dreidel.”

Kinsler begins her new gig at the Orlando Sentinel after Labor Day.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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