OLD Media Moves

St. Pete real estate reporter moves to city hall beat

May 6, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Mark Puente, the real estate reporter at the Tampa Bay Times in St. Petersburg, is moving over to cover the Florida city’s city hall.

Puente disclosed the change on his Facebook page. In an e-mail to Talking Biz News, Puente wrote, “Until now, I didn’t know the ins and out of business reporting and how it could impact a municipal beat. My horizons have expanded. I am excited about the opportunity at Florida’s best newspaper.”

A native of the Midwest, Puente joined the Times in November 2010.

Puente spent more than five years with The Plain Dealer in Cleveland where he won several journalism awards for his investigative work. The newspaper nominated him twice for the Pulitzer Prize. His reporting forced a 32-year sheriff in Ohio’s largest county to resign from office in 2009 and plead guilty to theft-in-office charges.

His investigative work has been recognized by the Associated Press Society of Ohio, the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. The University of Colorado presented him with the Al Nakkula Award in 2010, journalism’s only award devoted to police and crime reporting.

He took a different path to journalism by logging more than 1 million miles in the cab of a tractor trailer during 14 years. After leaving the trucking industry, Puente earned a political science degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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