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WFLA’s Lauren Mayk is leaving the Tampa Bay area

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

WFLA reporter and Sunday morning anchor Lauren Mayk is leaving the Tampa Bay media market to head to Philadelphia, Pa., where she worked early in her career.

Mayk has been reporting for News Channel 8 since 2010. One of her most impactful stories uncovered a crime ring of identity thieves who were using area residents’ personal information to file tax returns and reap huge benefits. The story drew attention from state lawmakers and prompted a push for changes within the Internal Revenue Service.

A recent example of her hard-hitting work is on Mayk’s professional Facebook page. Last month Mayk questioned Florida Gov. Rick Scott about his thoughts on presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s controversial comments about illegal immigrants. Instead of answering her question, Scott instead told her what candidates should be talking about – jobs. For nearly two minutes Mayk continued to press Scott on the issue.

Prior to working at WFLA, Mayk was a reporter and anchor in Sarasota. She also worked as a reporter for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Mayk got her start in print journalism as an intern at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Detroit Free Press in 1998 and 1999.

She worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer for a little over two years and did a stint as a part time news writer at a Philadelphia Fox affiliate.

News of Mayk’s upcoming move spread this weekend over Twitter after meteorologist Bryan Bennett tweeted a photo of the two reporters with a note that it was her last day anchoring.

“Hope she sends cheese steaks,” the tweet ended.

Following that tweet, Mayk was met with a barrage of well-wishes from followers. Those messages came mostly from other reporters and political insiders like Politico’s Florida reporter Marc Caputo and strategist Steve Schale.

It’s not clear where Mayk will be taking her professional talents next in Philly. I reached out to Mayk on Facebook to find out where she’d be heading next, but have not yet heard back. Check back later for more updates.

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 Patch.com 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 janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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