In the content management for the middle pod, make sure to look in source view, click the source button in the toolbar.
the page that creates the index page is webassist/thems/<your theme>/Templates/index.dwt.php
where <your theme> is the them that poser store is using.
the code that creates the middle pod on that page is:
<h1><?php echo WA_getCMSContent($database_PowerStoreConnection, $PowerStoreConnection,"Home Page", "Site Message"); ?></h1>
<?php echo WA_getCMSContent($database_PowerStoreConnection, $PowerStoreConnection, 'Middle Pod' , 'Content'); ?>
there is no empty <p> tag in this code.