Bill Sharpe is Dead, Long Live Bill Sharpe
Sad news. Tampa media mogul Bill Sharpe was found dead in his office. The Tampa Police Department believe the cause of death was suicide. It is shocking to hear of someone as energetic and engaged in the Tampa community as Sharpe taking his own life.
Sharpe had a way of making an impact in Tampa media. Sharpe was the owner of the popular defunct blog Sticks of Fire. Sharpe made a splash more recently with the homeless newspaper the Tampa Epoch. Local homeless people would sell copies of the paper to earn cash. The future of Tampa Epoch is uncertain without Sharpe.
Sharpe was the Tampa blogosphere version of Nick Denton. Sharpe was a community newspaper publisher that saw the vast potential in new media. Sharpe helped connect the Tampa blogosphere together. Like the polarizing Denton, Sharpe faced controversy often with the published posts of Rachel Moran. Whether or not Sharpe intended for Moran to provoke strong responses is part of his mystery.
I may have not always agreed with Sharpe, but he always had my attention. Sharpe was that important a player in Tampa media and political circles. There isn't anyone that can replace what Sharpe brought to Tampa new media.