St. Petersburg Times


Shark-hunting for ‘Old Hitler’ reveals storytelling tips

When I arrived at the St. Petersburg Times in 1977, the first writer I bonded with was Jeff Klinkenberg. We were the same age. Our desks were side by side. We both had young families. Our oldest daughters became best friends. We played in a rock band together. You get the idea.

On Tuesday, Klinkenberg took a buyout from what is now the Tampa Bay Times. His announcement on his Facebook page inspired more than 500 likes and almost 400 comments. These fervent expressions of admiration and respect from readers and other writers did not surprise me.

There is pride in knowing that a great newspaper could sustain the work of such a talented feature writer for almost four decades, especially one who is so identified with a place and a culture and the odd and interesting Floridians who have created it. Read more


Will a name change help the St. Pete Times the way it did the South Florida Sun-Sentinel?

The St. Petersburg Times is trading in the name that bears its storied past for a new one targeting the future, Chairman and CEO Paul Tash said in an interview Tuesday.

The decision to become the Tampa Bay Times is a competitive move aimed at taking name space away from cross-town rival The Tampa Tribune, and is raising new speculation about the Media General paper’s viability. The name change has unsettled some;  Twitter reaction decried the lost legacy, weakened identity, and potential confusion.

“I’m honored by any objection here, because it means that the St. Pete Times counts. And I agree — it counts,” said Tash, also chairman of the Poynter Institute, which owns the Times. “But the important part of our name is ‘Times,’ and to make the most of the success that we’ve had and to continue as a first-rate news organization, we need to draw fully on the support of the entire Tampa Bay region.”

It’s not unheard of for newspapers to change their names. Read more


St. Petersburg Times to be renamed the Tampa Bay Times
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. Read more


Layoffs follow pay cut at Poynter’s St. Petersburg Times

Romenesko+ memo
When he announced a recent 5 percent pay cut for staff and change in severance payments, St. Petersburg Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash said the cost-cutting “will likely include further job reductions,” and now it has. In a memo to staff, editor Neil Brown acknowledged that layoffs at the Poynter-owned paper had started. “The economy affords us no guarantees,” Brown wrote, “but we hope to wrap up these staffing decisions by the middle of October.” We’ve been told about eight people who were laid off, but have confirmed only three. The full memo follows. || Related: How can there be layoffs at a newspaper which was recently written about as the fourth best newspaper in the country? (St. Petersblog) Read more


Politico, Poynter’s St. Petersburg Times team up to cover GOP convention

The St. Petersburg Times and Politico will begin immediately sharing content both in print and online, and at the Republican convention in Tampa, they’ll combine reporting efforts to write in-depth enterprise stories related to the August 2012 event. In addition, the Times and Politico plan to co-produce daily newsmaker events in the Tampa Bay area. Read more


Blogger posts results of St. Petersburg Times staff survey
“I don’t think Tash and Co. will be too happy about me publishing it,” writes Peter Schorsch, referring to Times Publishing chairman Paul Tash. Actually, he probably won’t have a problem with it; the survey results should please the Poynter-owned paper’s management. Seventy-seven percent of St. Pete Times‘ staffers said they were satisfied with the company, and 76 percent said they were satisfied with their jobs. Read more