Mike Stephenson, right, managed coverage of the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup championship in 2004. He and sports editor Jack Sheppard pose with the trophy.

Mike Stephenson, right, managed coverage of the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup championship in 2004. He and sports editor Jack Sheppard pose with the trophy.

 

Mike's media career


 

Early days

Mike followed in the footsteps of his father, Larry, and started working for professional newspapers as a senior in high school taking statistics and compiling roundups for the Sunday Courier & Press in his native Evansville, Ind. As a Journalism major at Indiana University, he wrote the "View from the Stands" as the Hoosiers won the 1987 men's basketball national championship, covered the first Women's Little 500 bike race and served as managing editor and three-time sports editor of the Indiana Daily Student newspaper. He worked summer internships for the Florida Times-Union and Milwaukee Journal.

 

Daytona Beach News-Journal

Mike worked in the DeLand bureau for the newspaper, covering high schools and some Stetson University sports. 

Florida Times-Union

Mike covered high school and small college sports before being promoted to high school sports editor, managing a staff of three full-time and three part-time writers.

Tampa Bay Times

Mike worked various positions in 23 years at the paper known as the St. Petersburg Times until 2012. As regional sports editor, he had 17 full- and part-time staffers working for him in 10 offices. As assistant sports editor, he initiated and executed the coverage plan for the inaugural Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IndyCar race in 2003 and managed coverage of the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup championship. Mike was the point person in Sports while his boss worked on site as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in January 2003 in San Diego. As deputy sports editor, he guided coverage of national football championships by Florida and Florida State and coverage of consecutive men's basketball titles by the Gators and served as onsite editor at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa. 

 

In January 2015, he became interim sports editor, leading a team of 23 reporters, editors, designers and clerks who produced the Sports section for the largest newspaper in the Southeastern United States and its website, tampabay.com. He managed a budget in excess of $1 million and collaborated with marketing, production and advertising departments. The daily sports section received honorable mention in 2015 and the Sunday section honorable mention in 2016 among the largest papers in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

MANAGEMENT CASE STUDIES:

Mike gained vast experience as a leader and project manager at the Times. Some examples: