Tampa Bay Business Journal: March 21, 2014

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses why Time Warner is pulling its service operations from Tampa, the new currency warning from the State of Florida, and the area beaches topping TripAdvisor's Best Beaches list.

Time Warner announced this week the company is pulling its shared services operation out of Tampa.

In December 2011, then Time Warner Chief Financial Officer John Martin announced the center would create 500 jobs in payroll, human resources, IT and real estate facilities with an average salary around $57,000.

The 500 jobs promised never materialized. When the closure was announced, only 100 positions had been filed. The company says the reason it is leaving is only due to corporate changes.

In a statement, Time Warner wrote "The decision to discontinue our operations in Tampa and Hillsborough County was a difficult one and does not reflect in any way the exceptional talent base in the area and we have greatly appreciated the openness and support of the local leadership."

While the loss of jobs is never good news, local officials believe that the effort put in to bring Time Warner here in the first place could still be called a success.

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) issued a consumer alert over virtual currencies. Regulators want people to know about the potential risks associated with purchasing, investing in and exchanging Bitcoin and similar monetary mechanisms.

The OFR says some virtual currency exchanges that offer to store clients funds in virtual wallets have failed to protect them from hacking. The result is consumers have lost tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars to cyberthieves.

Authorities also are warning Floridians about potential tax obligations from using Bitcoins and the criminal activity linked to virtual currencies.

TripAdvisor loves Florida's beaches. Five of the state's beaches made the website's annual ranking of the 25 Best Beaches in America .

  • #3: Siesta Key Public Beach
  • #9: St. Pete Beach
  • #11: Caladesi Island State Park
  • #21: Clearwater Beach
  • #22: Lido Beach

The top ranked beach is Lanikai Beach in Kailua, Hawaii.

Getting so many Bay Area beaches on the list can provide a big marketing boost for local tourism officials.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOGVejDvJ9s or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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