Five years after settling a court case with the Tampa Tribune, the Poynter-owned St. Petersburg Times will become the Tampa Bay Times, a name that signals “the growth of our newspaper and our vision for this region,” says Chairman and CEO Paul Tash, who also serves as chairman of the Poynter Institute.
The Times began using the name Tampa Bay Times in 2004, for what was then its free weekly tabloid, called tbt*. When the tabloid became daily, the Tribune sued, saying the name infringed on “its trademark for the Tampa Times, an afternoon newspaper that ceased publication in 1982.” The November 1 settlement in 2006 allowed the St. Pete Times restricted use of the name for five years and unlimited use thereafter.
The new name will appear on the masthead starting January 1 — the 100th anniversary of Pinellas County, where the paper is headquartered, though three-quarters of its readers live outside St. Petersburg, Tash said. The paper bought the naming rights to the St. Pete Times Forum (where the Lightning play) in 2002. It will become the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Reaction to the name change has been mixed.