5 things I think I think about Jeff Vinik going into business with the Tampa Bay Times – Florida Politics (blog)
As we suspected the moment we read about the Tampa Bay Times refinancing plan, Jeff Vinik has been revealed to be one of four ‘secret lenders’ to the newspaper company.
A week ago, Times CEO Paul Tash explained in a column that the media company has accepted a $12 million loan made in part by anonymous lenders as part of a larger refinancing by the newspaper company. Of the eight local lenders to The Tampa Bay Times, only four were named; Tash and his wife, Karyn, are among the named investors, along with three other philanthropists and business executives.
This left many wondering who are the other four investors, described by Tash as all having “big investments in the Tampa Bay region.”
In a blog post, SPB first questioned if the investors might be developer/philanthropist Bill Edwards or Jeff Vinik.
Turns out that not only were we right, but its our probing which prompted Vinik to announce his role in the Times’ refinancing.
Here are five things I think I think about this blockbuster revelation.
1. Please don’t construe anything here as criticism of the Times refinancing its debt or Vinik jumping at the opportunity to play a role in that. Hundreds of Times employees are better off by this capital infusion, so unless the money was coming from Vladimir Putin, the deal itself is a good thing.
2. The biggest winner in all of this is Vinik. His plans for world domination, err, redeveloping downtown Tampa depend on a viable newspaper to broadcast the ‘good news’ about what’s happening there. Two million dollars is a small price to pay for a world-class propaganda machine that doubles as a Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization.
3. Tash owes his readers an explanation about how the entire refinancing deal came about. Did the lenders approach him