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Tampa Tribune’s Rich Mullins bolting to public affairs firm Tucker/Hall

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Tampa Tribune business reporter Richard Mullins is leaving the paper after a decade to join Tampa communications firm Tucker/Hall as Senior Account Executive.

He starts with Tucker/Hall May 11.

Mullins worked for the Tribune since January of 2005, reporting on consumer issues, media, technology and social trends for the paper. In addition, he also co-hosted the Tribune’s “All Consuming” weekly podcast on consumer culture for TBO.com.

His weekly Sunday column in particular was always a highlight for Tribune readers.

“Rich is someone many of us have known for years,” said Tucker/Hall Vice President Darren Richards.  “He’s an excellent reporter and writer, with strong contacts inside the business community.  We are thrilled Rich is coming on board.”

Prior to coming onto Mother Trib, Mullins reported for the Democrat and Chronicle Media Group in Rochester, N.Y.,  Crain’s Chicago Business and the San Francisco Examiner.

I have nothing but love and gratitude for the Tribune,” Mullins said Friday afternoon, where he was calling Florida Politics in between working on his own assignments for the day. ” I started here ten years ago and was given every opportunity I could ever hope and dream of  – writing, speaking events, podcasts, doing photography, social media, and had the privilege of covering some of the biggest news events that have happened in the last decade, so I am nothing but grateful.”

When asked about his thought about leaving daily journalism, Mullins says he frames his future endeavor in a different light.

“My goal is to take everything that I know how I have to do in journalism, the experience I have and the context I have, and wrap it up together and move to a new phase,” he says. “I really truly think there’s some great stories to tell in this market and Tampa has some incredible projects going on, and some incredible changes, and really interesting people and companies doing amazing work and I’m looking forward to being part of that in the same way, but in a different way.”

His departure is yet another blow to an institution in the Tribune that has had significant upheaval in recent years.

Last week officials with the paper confirmed that they were entertaining the idea of selling their downtown waterfront property on Parker Street adjacent to WFLA, News Channel 8. Some reporters are also having to take a cut in pay, at least temporarily.

Mullins says he’s confident the paper will get through it’s latest financial difficulties. “There are really some amazing people here and they do really good work that’s really important, and I thoughougly expect them to continue doing that,” he says.

But in the next breath he says he’s excited about moving on to Tucker/Hall.

He also has a self-published spy new novel on the way, called Winston Busby: The Spy Who Came in From The Heat, which he self-deprecatingly says he’s been “typing away” on it for six years or so.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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