It certainly wasn’t a coup along the lines of a big convention or prominent sports event, but the recent 10th anniversary drop-in by roving Fox News Channel anchor Shephard Smith was the sort of exposure chambers of commerce – and city halls — die for.
In front of the magnificent backdrop that is the Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa in St. Pete Beach, Smith did his 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. newscasts last Tuesday. That meant countless cut-away shots of the facility and sunset ambience around commercial breaks. He sprinkled in locals such as WTVT, Channel 13 meteorologist Paul Dellegatto and Hillsborough County prosecutor Pam Biondi.
There was also a mini infomercial on Tampa teased with references to “Tampa’s time” and its “downtown revitalization.” Allusions were made to its growing (eighth largest nationally) school system, “recent” Stanley Cup and Super Bowl winners and a “crime rate falling faster (30 percent over three years) than any other Florida city.”
Mayor Iorio was interviewed in front of city hall and waxed Pamglossian about Tampa, a city that was “youthful, vibrant and a place for entrepreneurs and a new breed of retirees. A city to watch for the future.”
Sounded fair and balanced to us.