Steve Newborn

Assistant News Director

Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues, politics and transportation in the Tampa Bay area.

He’s been with WUSF since 2001, and has covered events such as President George W. Bush’s speech in Sarasota as the Sept. 11 attacks unfolded; the ongoing drama over whether the feeding tube should be removed from Terri Schiavo; the arrest and terrorism trial of USF professor Sami Al-Arian; how the BP Deepwater Horizon spill affected Florida; and he followed the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition through the state - twice.

Before joining WUSF, he covered environmental and Polk County news for the Tampa Tribune and worked for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center during the early days of the space shuttle.

Ways to Connect

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Gov. Rick Scott was at Port Tampa Bay today to unveil two huge cranes that will allow port workers to unload cargo from larger ships going through the newly-widened Panama Canal. 

Scott and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio pushed a ceremonial button that activated a pair of towering gantries at Tampa's port. The 30-story cranes are part of a $24 million effort by the state and the port to accommodate larger ships coming from the Panama Canal.

Democrat Patrick Murphy must have seemed like the perfect candidate when he announced he was running for U.S. Senate. The 33-year-old Palm Beach Congressman is young, telegenic and politically moderate.  But recently, a spate of controversies, along with GOP incumbent Marco Rubio’s surprise entry into the race, have called Murphy’s front-runner status into question.

So just who is Patrick Murphy?

In the past couple of decades, "unions" has become a dirty word in Florida. This is a right to work state, and it seems even mentioning the word has become kind of a political dagger - just think of teacher's unions.  Most of the remaining unions are focused on trades, so when news came about newspaper reporters at The Ledger in Lakeland wanting to unionize, that made headlines.

With all the hoopla going on during the Republican National Convention, it can be difficult to figure out how true some of those speeches are. So WUSF's talks with Angie Holan, the editor of PolitiFact, who's in Cleveland to dissect Donald Trump's top 10 campaign promises.

We've all heard these campaign promises, or boasts, or whatever you want to call them. Building a wall, banning Muslims. So we're going to delve into those comments with Angie Holan, the editor of PolitiFact, who joins us from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Do two out of five Americans really know someone who has been killed by a gun? And is the leading Democratic contender for Florida's U.S. Senate seat really beholden to Wall Street financiers? WUSF's Steve Newborn takes aim at these claims with Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida.

Tampa Bay area residents may soon have daily flights to Havana aboard Southwest Airlines.  Tampa is one of 10 U.S. cities that received tentative approval from the U.S. government for commercial flights to Cuba.

Does Pinellas Congressman David Jolly favor offshore drilling? PolitiFact Florida digs deep into that charge made by his rival for Congress, former Governor Charlie Crist. And WUSF's Steve Newborn looks at the politics of funding to fight the Zika virus, with PolitiFact's Katie Sanders.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday continued to push for more federal funding to combat the spread of the Zika virus. But the governor has a bad track record in prying dollars from Washington. That's the word from PolitiFact Florida, which says he's only gotten half of his requests for declarations of "major disasters." WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about that with PolitiFact's Josh Gillen.

The Florida Channel

Did Florida lawmakers really cut property taxes by more than $400 million dollars? And why is presidential campaigner John Kasich complaining about free media coverage by one of his opponents? WUSF's Steve Newborn tackles these claims with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.


One of the more interesting trials to make its way to St. Petersburg pits wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan against Gawker Media. The company is being sued by Hogan because they published a sex tape with his estranged friend's wife. That ex-friend is Bubba the Love Sponge. who filmed the whole scene without him know about it.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The nation is in the midst of elections where people vote because they're scared of how the economy or country is going. That's the consensus from a pair of political consultants who spoke Wednesday at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg for a primary post-mortem.


Are nearly half of all African-American high school graduates unable to land a job? And just how neutral is Donald Trump in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians?  WUSF's Steve Newborn takes a closer look at these issues with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.

Roberto Roldan/WUSF News

Several thousand people crowded into the Tampa Convention Center Monday afternoon, as Donald Trump made his second local appearance ahead of the Florida presidential primary.

Trump, Clinton Hold Big Poll Leads Going Into Florida Primary

Mar 14, 2016
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton hold big leads going into Tuesday's presidential primaries in Florida - a potentially devastating sign for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's bid for the White House, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

Trump leads Rubio by a margin of 46 percent to 22 percent, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 14 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 10 percent.

After all the debates and primaries and chatter from the political class, it all comes down to this: Tuesday's Florida primary may determine the next Republican candidate for president.

If Florida Senator Marco Rubio doesn't come in first - and collect 99 delegates in the winner-take-all contest, his quest is probably over.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF News

Though she has a commanding lead in most polls, Hillary Clinton can still expect a stiff challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Tuesday in Florida's presidential primary. And as many Florida voters got to see up close last week the sound - and the look - of their rallies are very different than those held by Republicans.

Christopher Collier / WUSF News

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton packed the Ritz Theatre in Tampa's Ybor City at lunchtime Thursday, taking about issues such as climate change and solar power and finding money to rebuild ports, roads and rail.

Expanding gambling throughout Florida seems to be a lost bet this year in Tallahassee. But does the state really get six times the money that people lose gambling?  And was Mitt Romney's recent attacks on Donald Trump in keeping what he said during the last presidential campaign? WUSF's Steve Newborn gets the facts with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.

The proposed expansion of the gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe looks like it's dead this year in Tallahassee. It would have expanded the use of slot machines at various race tracks around the state.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of about 1,000 people at the Tampa Convention Center Monday night, vowing not only to stay in the race for president, but saying he's the only Republican candidate who can beat front-runner Donald Trump.

Here's a memo to all those candidates for are planning last-minute stops before Florida's March 15 primary: a lot of voters have already made up their minds.