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Tampa Bay Times purchases the Tampa Tribune

Posted at 3:10 PM, May 03, 2016
The Tampa Bay Times has purchased the Tampa Tribune, the newspaper announced Tuesday.
 
In a news release, the Times says it will honor all Tribune subscriptions and advertising agreements. Beginning Wednesday, Tribune subscribers will receive Times newspapers.
 
Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash said he intends to create one financially secure, locally owned daily newspaper in the Tampa Bay region. Tash did not disclose the purchase price.
 
"The continued competition between the newspapers was threatening to both," Tash said in a statement. "There are very few cities that are able to sustain more than one daily newspaper, and the Tampa Bay region is not among them."
 
The Times bought the paper from Revolution Capital Group, which bought the Tribune in 2012 for $9.5 million.
 
The purchase marks the end of the 123-year-old Tampa Tribune as a stand-alone newspaper.
 
Readers will still see a Tribune banner on the Times’ local news sections in Hillsborough County on Friday and Sunday. The Times will also continue to maintain TBO.com, the Tribune’s website.
 
"It's fair to say we've seen this day coming for a very long time," Tash said. "We are committed to being Florida's best newspaper to all of our readers and advertisers."
 
The Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for local investigative specialized reporting. In 1999, the paper became one of the first in the nation to "converge" with a TV station when it shared a newsroom with WFLA.
 
The Times, which remains one of the nation's few independent newspapers, is owned by the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit school for journalists. The newspaper began its history 131 years ago as the West Hillsborough Times out of Dunedin, the paper said on its website.
 
It was known for most of its existence as the St. Petersburg Times, but changed its name to the Tampa Bay Times in 2012 to reflect the territory it serves. In April, the Times won its 11th and 12th Pulitzer Prizes, for local and investigative reporting.
 
Tash told the Times he expects at least 100 jobs to be lost at the Tribune. Tribune employees who lose their jobs will receive 60 days of pay.
 
TAMPA TRIBUNE TIMELINE:
 
— 1893: Wallace Fisher Stovall moves his existing news operations to Tampa from Bartow. Stovall's first Tampa Morning Tribune debuts on March 27, 1893.
 
— 1895: Stovall begins the Tampa Tribune, a daily newspaper.
 
— 1925: Stovall sells the paper to a group of Florida businessmen.
 
— 1927: A Florida land boom goes bust and the businessmen sell the paper for $900,000. The owner later forms The Tribune Company, which includes The Chicago Tribune.
 
— 1958: The Tribune Company buys the Tampa Daily Times, an evening newspaper.
 
— 1966: Both papers bought by Richmond Newspapers and the company acquired WFLA-TV.
 
— 1966: The Tribune wins a Pulitzer for local investigative specialized reporting.
 
— 1969: The company was renamed Media General.
 
— 1982: The final edition of the Tampa Daily Times was printed.
 
— 1999: The paper becomes one of the first in the nation to "converge" with a TV station when it shares a newsroom with WFLA.
 
— 2012: Media General sells the Tribune for $9.5 million to Revolution Capital Group, a private equity investment group. "Asked if the plan was to buy, cut costs and resell the Tribune, Revolution founder and managing partner Robert Loring said it was not. "We are definitely in this for the long haul," he told the paper at the time.
 
— 2015: The newspaper sells its downtown Tampa building for $17.75 million.
 
— May 2: The Tampa Bay Times, the Tribune's main competitor, announces it has bought the Tribune for an undisclosed amount of money.