My experience at Leadership Tampa’s Media Day

Tina Cotton
Assistant Vice President, Financial Foundations – USAA 
Leadership Tampa Class of 2013

Our most recent Leadership Tampa 13 (the best class ever) event was Media Day. I feel like a tape recorder as we continue to think each event is the best one ever and this one definitely did not disappoint!

We started the day with our hostess, Leadership Tampa Alumni Class of 1999, Colleen Chappell, President and CEO of ChappellRoberts. If you have ever met Colleen you know that she is a ball of energy! Her passion and enthusiasm for our Media Day event was evident throughout the day. She and her team did an amazing job with the agenda!

After Colleen got us through her morning pep rally we headed off to WUSF. We were introduced to a panel of speakers from various venues in the communications field. We had the opportunity to ask questions about that ranged from the future of public broadcasting, social media and the impact that it has on reporting events. The members of the panel were very knowledgeable and it was an enjoyable experience. Next, we had the opportunity to go into a broadcasting booth. Some of our class members got the opportunity to do a “live” interview. It was very interesting. While it was only 5 minutes, the prep work required to make that 5 minutes incredible and interesting to viewers. We left WUSF abuzz with chatter about the experience. If you’d like to check it out, go to

Just when we thought it couldn’t get better, we headed to News Channel 8—WFLA-TV. Our host was none other than Keith Cates. Per Colleen when she approached Keith about hosting our LT 13 class, she forget to mention that the class was 60 folks. They normally accommodate small tours of less than 10 folks. However, he was gracious enough and worked with his Channel 8 team to create another amazing experience for us. After lunch, our team was divided into groups and proceeded on different tours throughout the station. The tours were inclusive of a: tour, broadcast experience and ratings session. We toured area where the anchors broadcast from, it was quite surreal seeing the actual room. Some of our classmates had the opportunity to role play in several areas to include weather, a broadcast and an interviewee for an 8 on your side segment. The interactivity of the News Channel 8 experience kept us on our toes. I have a new found respect for the reporters and anchors, doing what they do every day is easier said than done.

We ended our day at Tampa Day Times. Ernest Hooper, columnist for the Times, was our host. He is also a Leadership Tampa Alumni, Class of 2003. Again, we were not disappointed and ended the day on the same level of excitement that it began. We had the opportunity to ask Ernest questions about the different roles at the newspaper, the future of print media, social media impact, etc. After a brief Q & A, we had were challenged to create the front and city page of the newspaper using headlines. During the exercise, breaking news continued to occur. This experience really had you feel the sense of urgency that must be felt “real time” as you attempt to meet print deadlines. It was a very engaging way to help us appreciate what goes on in Ernest’s role. And that’s all I am saying!!

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About Tampa Bay Chamber

The Tampa Bay Chamber is a not-for-profit business membership organization that helps promote the businesses and business interests of our members. We come from diverse backgrounds: from small businesses, big corporations, government bodies and the military. United, we become a single, unifying force with the power to shape the future of Tampa Bay.

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