Leaving Sunshine State News: It's Tough; Site's a Winner
Around the State
Difficult decisions are the only truly interesting ones. Sometimes we surprise ourselves, and others, too.
So, I find myself ready to step away from the role of publisher of Sunshine State News. In one sense, it seems too soon. In another, when is the timing ever wrong to make a transition to the next thing one most wants to do?
Plus, Sunshine State News has, as they say, arrived.
In a span of months, we’ve zipped from an idea to a credible, exciting, successful source of news about Florida politics and business. We moved at click-click-click speed from attracting a modest number of visitors for our unique mix of articles, blogs and videos to garnering statewide, then national, then global pick-ups.
In our first month, Sunshine State News ranked in the top five new news service sites with the most appearances in Google News. In four months alone, we have had hundreds of thousands of "unique" visitors read our pages.
But it’s our different approach to the day-to-day coverage of news that has our core audience returning 24-7 for more.
We reasoned from the beginning that there was a hunger in Florida for what Sunshine State News was setting out to do. We were counting on that as much as FOX News did when it discovered a public eager to embrace its “fair and balanced” news model.
We’ve received the attention of state and federal political leaders, business leaders, national news magazines, cable news operations, political bloggers, state government workers, lobbyists, attorneys, teachers, business and professional associations and political parties.
And we’re continually tweaking and improving what we do. If you’re familiar with our site, you’ve seen our Florida Minute video feature and the introduction of our columns Political Bits and Pieces and Washington Week, as well as the unrivaled call-it-like-I-see-it columns by our very own Nancy Smith.
We’ve leapt to the front of the pack on more than a few very important stories in Florida. Weeks before he actually made the move, Sunshine State News reported that Gov. Charlie Crist was holding private meetings with supporters about jumping the GOP ship. He denied it, of course. Then he did it, taking the Republican campaign loot with him. That’s called going “independent”?
In journalism, compliment is often delivered in the form of a single word of praise: Kudos! So, “Kudos!” to all of my colleagues at Sunshine State News for their brilliant work, from the concept to the design of the Web site to the reporting and editing.
Sunshine State News may be losing this publisher, but not this reader. I can’t wait to see what's coming next.