New Daily Newspaper in Tampa Bay debuts by Mitch E. Perry

03/06/06

This morning, a brand new daily newspaper was distributed throughout the bay area – It’s called tbt – or Tampa Bay Times – and is published by the St. Petersburg Times. But unlike the Times, the TBT comes in tabloid form, with lots of colored photos, as well as wire stories, along with content that was also published in the St. Pete Times.

There had been some suspense on whether the paper would publish after the Tampa Tribune sued, complaining about trademark infringement. The Tribune had asked for an injunction to prohibit use of the "Tampa Bay Times" name, saying it was too similar to "Tampa Times," a name for which the Tribune Company holds the trademark. The Tribune Company used to publish a daily paper called the Tampa Times, which ceased publication in 1982.

The Times had argued that the Trib owners had abandoned the trademark.So last Friday, US District Judge James Moody split the difference, saying that the Times CAN continue to call the new daily tbt*, as long as the tbt symbol on the is 7 times larger than the full name of Tampa Bay Times. TbT has been published weekly since September of 2004, but now intends on publishing Monday thru Friday.

Roy Peter Clark is a senior Scholar at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists based in St. Petersburg. The Poyter also owns stock in the Times Publishing Company.

Clark says the tabloid, or broadsheet format that has been immensely successful across the Atlantic, and has now has been employed by several newspaper publishers across the U.S. in the past few years (roll tape#1 o.q.�in tabloid form�)

Much has been in the past couple of year about how circulation at newspapers is declining, based on news consumers going relying more on the Internet, television, or just turned off by the media.

A year ago, an audit of the top 20 newspapers in the country found all but 2 losing readers…That included the St.Petersburg Times, the 19th biggest daily in the country. In part because of that, newspaper publishers in among other cities, have created new tabloid papers. But some critics say the papers are too lightweight, stuffed with entertainment and sports reports, and with news stories significantly edited for quick perusal. Again, Roy Peter Clark of the Poynter Institute (roll tape#2 o.q. “different requirements�)

Many of these new tabloid papers, designed by newspaper publishers for younger audiences as an alternative to their establishment publication, have begun in Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, and Boston….All cities with proven reliable forms of public transportation…..something that is not the case in the Tampa Bay Area.

Roy Peter Clark, a Senior Scholar at the Poynter Institute, acknowledges that is a challenge for this local broadsheet (roll tape#3 o.q.�will continue to see the trend�)

The new 5 day a week tabloid paper is not the only new wrinkle from the Times Publishing Company…The Times has also revised its website… Check it out for yourself at tampabay.com

comments powered by Disqus