Tampa Bay Times

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Tampa Bay Times
St Pete Times 10-16-08 front pg.jpg
The January 1, 2012, front page of the first edition of the Tampa Bay Times.
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Times Publishing Company
Founded1884;135 years ago (1884)
Headquarters490 First Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
United States
Circulation 240,024 daily
403,229 (2011) [1]
ISSN 2327-9052
OCLC number 5920090
Website tampabay.com

The Tampa Bay Times, previously named the St. Petersburg Times through 2011, is an American newspaper published in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. It has won twelve Pulitzer Prizes since 1964, and in 2009, won two in a single year for the first time in its history, one of which was for its PolitiFact project. It is published by the Times Publishing Company, which is owned by The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a nonprofit journalism school directly adjacent to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus. Many issues are available through Google News Archive. [2] A daily electronic version is also available for the Amazon Kindle and iPad.

Newspaper Scheduled publication containing news of events, articles, features, editorials, and advertising

A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.

St. Petersburg, Florida City in Florida, United States

St. Petersburg is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. As of the 2015 census estimate, the population was 257,083, making it the fifth-most populous city in Florida and the largest in the state that is not a county seat.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.



Logo of the St. Petersburg Times in 2009 St. Petersburg Times (2009-08-27).svg
Logo of the St. Petersburg Times in 2009

The newspaper traces its origins to the West Hillsborough Times, a weekly newspaper established in Dunedin, Florida on the Pinellas peninsula in 1884. At the time, neither St. Petersburg nor Pinellas County existed; the peninsula was part of Hillsborough County. The paper was published weekly in the back of a pharmacy and had a circulation of 480. It subsequently changed ownership six times in seventeen years. [3] In December 1884 it was bought by A. C. Turner, [4] who moved it to Clear Water Harbor (modern Clearwater, Florida). [3] In 1892 it moved to St. Petersburg, [3] and by 1898 it was officially renamed the St. Petersburg Times. [5]

Dunedin, Florida City in Florida, United States

Dunedin is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The name comes from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Dunedin is the 5th largest city in Pinellas County. The population was 35,321 at the 2010 census.


Pinellas is the name of a peninsula located roughly halfway down the west coast of Florida. It forms the western boundary of Tampa Bay and comprises the bulk of Pinellas County. There is a city named Pinellas Park in south Pinellas. The peninsula is bounded on the north by Pasco County, Florida, on the northeast by Hillsborough County, and on the east and south by Tampa Bay. It is bounded on the west by the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. The Pinellas peninsula connects to the south with Manatee County via the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and connects with Hillsborough County on the east via the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Howard Frankland Bridge, and the Gandy Bridge.

Pinellas County, Florida County in Florida, United States

Pinellas County is a county located in the state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 916,542. The county is part of the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clearwater is the county seat, and St. Petersburg is the largest city.

Tampa Bay Times newspaper rack Tampa Bay Times.jpg
Tampa Bay Times newspaper rack

The Times became bi-weekly in 1907, and began publication six days a week in 1912. Paul Poynter, a publisher originally from Indiana, bought the paper in September 1912 and converted to a seven-day paper, though it was rarely financially stable. Paul's son, Nelson Poynter, became editor in 1939 and took majority control of the paper in 1947, and set about improving the paper's finances and prestige. Nelson Poynter controlled the paper until his death in 1978, when he willed the majority of the stock to the non-profit Poynter Institute. [3] In November 1986, the Evening Independent was merged into the Times.[ citation needed ] Poynter was succeeded as editor by Eugene Patterson (1978–1988), [3] Andrew Barnes (1988–2004), [3] Paul Tash (2004–2010; chair of the Times Publishing Company since 2004 and the Poynter Institute since 2007) [6] [3] Neil Brown (2010–2017) [7] , and Mark Katches (2018-present) [8] .

Nelson Poynter (1903–1978) was an American publisher and media proprietor. He was the owner of the Times Publishing Company, and the co-founder of the Congressional Quarterly. He is the namesake of the Poynter Institute.

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a non-profit journalism school and research organization located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The school is the owner of the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.

<i>Evening Independent</i> St. Petersburg, Floridas first daily newspaper

The Evening Independent was St. Petersburg, Florida's first daily newspaper. The sister evening newspaper of the St. Petersburg Times, it was launched as a weekly newspaper in March 1906 under the ownership of Willis B. Powell. In November 1907, it became a daily paper as the St. Petersburg Evening Independent.

On January 1, 2012, the St. Petersburg Times was renamed the Tampa Bay Times; this stemmed from a 2006 decision of a lawsuit with Media General, at the time the publishers of the Times' competing newspaper, The Tampa Tribune , which allowed that paper to keep its exclusive right to use the name of its defunct sister paper, The Tampa Times, for five years after the decision. [5]

Media General

Media General was an American media company based in Richmond, Virginia. The company's origins can be traced back to 1887 when Richmond attorney Joseph Bryan acquired The Richmond Daily Times, which later became The Richmond Times-Dispatch. Joseph Bryan's son, John Stewart Bryan succeeded his father as owner and publisher of the Times-Dispatch, which merged with The Richmond News Leader in 1940 to form Richmond Newspapers, Inc.

<i>The Tampa Tribune</i> newspaper published in Tampa

The Tampa Tribune was a daily newspaper published in Tampa, Florida. One of two major newspapers published in the Tampa Bay area, the Tribune was second in circulation and readership to the Tampa Bay Times.

As the newly rechristened Tampa Bay Times, the paper's weekday tabloid tbt*, a free daily publication and which used "(* Tampa Bay Times)" as its subtitle, became just tbt when the name change took place. [5] The St. Pete Times name lives on as the name for the Times' neighborhood news sections in southern Pinellas County (formerly Neighborhood Times), serving communities from Largo southward.

Largo, Florida City in Florida, United States

Largo is the third largest city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States, and 4th largest in the Tampa Bay Area. As of the 2014 Census estimate, the city had a population of 84,500, up from 69,371 in 2000.

Logo of the free tabloid tbt* in 2018 Tbt (2018-01-24).svg
Logo of the free tabloid tbt* in 2018
Logo of the free tabloid tbt* in 2009 Tampa Bay Times tbt (2009-08-27).svg
Logo of the free tabloid tbt* in 2009

The Times has also done significant investigative reporting on the Church of Scientology, since the church's acquisition of the Fort Harrison Hotel in 1975 and other holdings in Clearwater. The Times has published special reports and series critical of the church and its current leader, David Miscavige. [9]

Church of Scientology organization devoted to the practice and the promotion of the Scientology belief system

The Church of Scientology is a multinational network and hierarchy of numerous ostensibly independent but interconnected corporate entities and other organizations devoted to the practice, administration and dissemination of Scientology, a new religious movement. Although in some countries it has attained legal recognition as a religion, the movement has been the subject of a number of controversies, and has been accused by critics of being both a cult and a commercial enterprise.

Fort Harrison Hotel

The Fort Harrison Hotel serves as the flagship building of the Flag Land Base, the Church of Scientology's spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. It is owned and operated by the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc., a subsidiary of the Church of Scientology International.

Clearwater, Florida City in Florida, United States

Clearwater is a city located in Pinellas County, Florida, United States, northwest of Tampa and St. Petersburg. To the west of Clearwater lies the Gulf of Mexico and to the southeast lies Tampa Bay. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 107,685. Clearwater is the county seat of Pinellas County and is the smallest of the three principal cities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area, most commonly referred to as the Tampa Bay Area.

In 2010, the Times published an investigative report questioning the validity of the United States Navy Veterans Association, leading to significant reaction and official investigations into the group nationwide. [10]

On May 3, 2016, the Times acquired its longtime competitor The Tampa Tribune, with the latter publication immediately ceasing publishing [11] and Tribune features and some writers expected to be merged into the Times. [12] As reported by other local media outlets in the Tampa Bay area at the time of this acquisition, for many years the Tampa Tribune was considered to be the more conservative newspaper in the region, while the Tampa Bay Times was thought of as more liberal. [11]

The Times' purchase of The Tribune also allowed its circulation area to be expanded into Polk County, placing it in competition with other newspapers such as The Lakeland Ledger and The Polk County Democrat , as well as into the south central region of the state known as the Florida Heartland. In the case of the latter, the Times published Highlands Today , which was a daily news supplement of The Tribune for readers in Highlands County. [13] The Times sold the paper in 2016 to Sun Coast Media Group.


The newspaper created PolitiFact.com, a project in which its reporters and editors "fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups…" [14] They publish original statements and their evaluations on the PolitiFact.com website, and assign each a "Truth-O-Meter" rating, with ratings ranging from "True" for completely true statements to "Pants on Fire" (from the taunt "Liar, liar, pants on fire") for false and ridiculous statements. The site also includes an "Obameter", [15] tracking U.S. President Barack Obama's performance with regard to his campaign promises. PolitiFact.com was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2009 for "its fact-checking initiative during the 2008 presidential campaign that used probing reporters and the power of the World Wide Web to examine more than 750 political claims, separating rhetoric from truth to enlighten voters." [16] The Times sold PolitiFact.com to its parent company, the Poynter Institute, in 2018.

Awards and nominations

2016 Pulitzer Prize "For exposing a local school board's culpability in turning some county schools into failure factories, with tragic consequences for the community. (Moved by the Board from the Public Service category, where it was also entered.)"Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa GartnerLocal ReportingWon [17]
2016 Pulitzer Prize "For a stellar example of collaborative reporting by two news organizations that revealed escalating violence and neglect in Florida mental hospitals and laid the blame at the door of state officials." Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier of the Tampa Bay Times and Michael Braga of the Sarasota Herald-TribuneInvestigative ReportingWon [18]
2014 Pulitzer Prize "For relentlessly investigating the squalid conditions that marked housing for Hillsborough County's substantial homeless population, leading to swift reforms."Will Hobson and Michael LaForgiaLocal ReportingWon [19]
2013 Pulitzer Prize "For helping reverse the decision to end fluoridation of water in Pinellas County."Tim Nickens and Daniel RuthEditorial WritingWon [20]
2012 Pulitzer Prize Tim Nickens, Joni James, John Hill and Robyn Blumner Editorial WritingFinalist [21]
2010National Headliner Awards"Inside Scientology"Thomas C. Tobin and Joe ChildsInvestigative reportingFinalist [22]
Florida Society of News EditorsGold Medal for Public ServiceWon [23] [24]
Pulitzer Prize "For Their Own Good"Ben Montgomery, Waveney Ann Moore, and photographer Edmund D. FountainLocal ReportingFinalist [25]
2009 Pulitzer Prize PolitiFact.comTimes staff, represented by Bill Adair, Washington bureau chiefNational ReportingWon [26] [27]
Public ServiceFinalist [16]
"The Girl in the Window"Lane DeGregoryFeature WritingWon [26] [28]
"Winter's Tale"John BarryFeature WritingFinalist [16]
2007 Scripps Howard Foundation Human Interest WritingLane DeGregoryErnie Pyle AwardWon [29]
"A Republican vs. Republican Cellular Division"Wes AllisonRaymond Clapper AwardWon [29]
Pulitzer Prize "In His Own Defense" Christopher Goffard Feature WritingFinalist [30]
2003 Scripps Howard Foundation Human Interest WritingKelley BenhamErnie Pyle AwardWon [31]
2002 Scripps Howard Foundation "The Poison in Your Back Yard"Julie Hauserman Edward J. Meeman AwardWon [32]
2000 Pulitzer Prize "Una Vida Mejor"Anne HullFeature WritingFinalist [33]
National ReportingFinalist [33]
1999 Sigma Delta Chi "Deadly Rampage"Times staffExcellence in deadline reportingWon [34]
Investigative report of U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown Bill Adair and David DahlWashington correspondenceWon [34] [4]
1998 Pulitzer Prize "Angels & Demons"Thomas FrenchFeature WritingWon [26] [35]
Investigative report of The Rev. Henry Lyons Times staffInvestigative ReportingFinalist [36]
The "Tobacco" seriesDavid BarstowExplanatory ReportingFinalist [36]
1997 Pulitzer Prize Coverage of the 1996 St. Petersburg riot Times staffSpot News ReportingFinalist [37]
1995 Pulitzer Prize "Final Indignities"Jeffrey GoodEditorial WritingWon [26] [38]
"A Secret Life"Anne HullFeature WritingFinalist [39]
1992 Pulitzer Prize "Life From Death"Sheryl JamesFeature WritingFinalist [40]
1991 Pulitzer Prize "A Gift Abandoned"Sheryl JamesFeature WritingWon [26] [41]
1985 Pulitzer Prize Corruption in Pasco County Sheriff's Office Lucy Morgan and Jack ReedInvestigative ReportingWon [26] [42]
1982 Pulitzer Prize Coverage of drug smuggling in Dixie County, Florida Lucy MorganLocal General or Spot News ReportingFinalist [43]
1980 Pulitzer Prize Investigation of Church of Scientology operations in Florida Bette Swenson Orsini and Charles StaffordNational ReportingWon [26] [44]
Times staffPublic ServiceFinalist [45]
1969 Penney-Missouri Award Women's section Marjorie Paxson General ExcellenceWon [46]
1964 Pulitzer Prize Investigation of Florida Turnpike Authority Martin Waldron and Times staff [47] Meritorious Public ServiceWon [26] [48]

See also


  1. "eCirc for Newspapers". Audit Bureau of Circulations. September 30, 2011. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013.
  2. Shankland, Stephen (September 8, 2008). "Google raising newspaper morgues from the dead". CNET News . Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Times History". Times Publishing Company. 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  4. 1 2 Staff (2007). "St. Petersburg Times History – From 1884 to present". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on August 18, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
  5. 1 2 3 Deggans, Eric (November 1, 2011). "The St. Petersburg Times will become the Tampa Bay Times on Jan. 1". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  6. http://www.tampabay.com/company/about-us/times-executives/bios/ptash
  7. http://www.tampabay.com/company/about-us/times-executives/bios/nbrown
  8. http://company.tampabay.com:2052/company/about-us/times-executives/bios/mkatches
  9. Tobin, Thomas C.; Childs, Joe (June 23, 2009). "The Truth Run Down". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  10. Casey, Dan; Sluss, Michael (May 16, 2010). "Fla. Contributor to Va. Campaigns Raises Questions – A Man Who Lived in Florida and Gave $67,500 to Virginia Campaigns Is Under Investigation". The Roanoke Times . Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  11. 1 2 Sunde Farquhar (May 3, 2016). "Tampa Bay Times buys, shutters Tampa Tribune". WFLA.
  12. "'Tampa Bay Times' buys, shuts down rival 'Tampa Tribune'". USA Today. May 3, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  13. "A note from our publisher". Highlands Today . May 4, 2016. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016.
  14. "PolitiFact.com". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  15. "The Obameter". Politifact. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  16. 1 2 3 "2009 Pulitzer Prize Winners & Finalists". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  17. "Local Reporting". www.pulitzer.org.
  18. "Investigative Reporting". www.pulitzer.org.
  19. "JOURNALISM". www.pulitzer.org.
  20. "2013 Pulitzer Prizes - Editorial Writing". www.pulitzer.org.
  21. Staff (March 13, 2004). "Times writer's stories earn her 2003 Ernie Pyle Award". St. Petersburg Times. p. 3B.
  22. "2012 Pulitzer Prizes - JOURNALISM". www.pulitzer.org.
  23. Sentinel Staff Report (June 18, 2010). "Orlando Sentinel wins 17 awards from Florida Society of News Editors". Orlando Sentinel . Retrieved June 18, 2010.
  24. Staff (June 18, 2010). "FSNE Gold Medal for Public Service". Florida Society of News Editors . Retrieved June 18, 2010. Inside Scientology – The St. Petersburg Times reporting on the Church of Scientology is in the finest traditions of American journalism. The reporting by Joseph Childs and Thomas Tobin stands out for the ways in which it held accountable the powerful.
  25. "The Pulitzer Prizes – Finalists 2010". Columbia University . Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  26. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Nohlgren, Stephen (April 20, 2009). "St. Petersburg Times wins two Pulitzer Prizes". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  27. McElroy, Jack (April 26, 2009). "Paperless project claims a Pulitzer". Knoxville News Sentinel . p. 60.
  28. Young, Charles William (April 23, 2009). "St. Petersburg Times earns two Pulitzer Prizes for journalism". Congressional Record . p. E950–E951.
  29. 1 2 Staff (March 10, 2007). "Scripps winners named". The Kentucky Post . p. A5.
  30. "The Pulitzer Prizes – Finalists 2007". Columbia University . Retrieved December 5, 2009.
  31. St. Petersburg Times staff (March 13, 2004). "Times writer's stories earn her 2003 Ernie Pyle Award". St. Petersburg Times. p. 3B.
  32. Staff (March 2, 2002). "Two Times reporters earn national awards". St. Petersburg Times. p. 3B.
  33. 1 2 "The Pulitzer Prizes – Finalists 2000". Columbia University . Retrieved December 5, 2009.
  34. 1 2 Staff (April 18, 1999). "Times earns national reporting awards". St. Petersburg Times. p. 3B.
  35. Leisner, Pat (April 16, 1998). "Indianapolis native wins Pulitzer Prize". Post-Tribune . Associated Press. p. B5.
  36. 1 2 "The Pulitzer Prizes – Finalists 1998". Columbia University . Retrieved December 5, 2009.
  37. "The Pulitzer Prizes – Finalists 1997". Columbia University . Retrieved December 5, 2009.
  38. "Prizes honor wide range of stories; Winners of the 1995 Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism included stories of natural disaster, human tragedy and courage". Portland Press Herald . Associated Press. April 19, 1995. p. 7A.
  39. "The Pulitzer Prizes – Finalists 1995". Columbia University . Retrieved December 5, 2009.
  40. "The Pulitzer Prizes – Finalists 1992". Columbia University . Retrieved December 5, 2009.
  41. "Barberton native wins a Pulitzer". Akron Beacon Journal). Associated Press. April 10, 1991. p. A1.
  42. Marx, Gary (April 25, 1985). "Pulitzer winners: UCF student, St. Pete Times". Orlando Sentinel . p. A1.
  43. "The Pulitzer Prizes – Finalists 1982". Columbia University . Retrieved December 5, 2009.
  44. Staff (April 16, 1980). "Pulitzer Prize board, for first time, names finalists in all categories". The Boston Globe .
  45. "The Pulitzer Prizes – Finalists 1980". Columbia University . Retrieved December 5, 2009.
  46. Voss, Kimberly Wilmot; Speere, Lance (2007–2008). "Marjorie Paxson: From Women's Editor to Publisher" (PDF). Media History Monographs. 10 (1). Retrieved March 17, 2019.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  47. Staff (May 28, 1981). "Martin O. Waldron Is Dead at 56; Reporting Led to a Pulitzer Prize". The New York Times . Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  48. Garloch, Karen (April 1, 1988). "Observer wins Pulitzer Prize for coverage of PTL, Bakkers". The Charlotte Observer . p. 1A.

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