FL_TIMES

I’m sure most of you have heard by now that the Tampa Bay Times bought the Tampa Tribune yesterday, marking the end of the Tribune. First of all, it is a sad day because some talented people are going to lose their jobs. I’m sure they will land on their feet somewhere, but it sucks that some are going to be forced to uproot.

On a personal note, it was a sad day for many of us who grew up in Tampa and remember a time when the Trib was a steady presence in our lives. For me at least, it felt like a big part of my childhood died yesterday.

For those of you too young to remember, there was a time in the Bay Area when the rivalry between the Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times, as it was known then, was the defining rivalry in the area. For most of us, if you lived in St. Pete you read the Times. If you lived in Tampa, you read the Tribune. The rivalry was so big that if you lived in Tampa and read the Times you were considered a bit of a traitor to your city.

Of course, over time more and more people recognized the work the Times was doing and we started to learn that the other paper was not the inferior product we grew up believing. Deliveries became more common on the east side of the Bay and the internet blurred the line separating the two cities and the territory of each paper.

In the end, it was pretty amazing that the Bay Area held on to two morning newspapers as long as it did. That is unheard of in this day and age unless it is a city like New York. And even then, the competing papers are more tabloid in nature.

Still, it is a bit jarring to think that the Tribune is no more, even if I haven’t physically held a newspaper in years. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Tampa Tribune was an important of many of our lives. For that I say “Thank you” to the folks at the Tribune, you won’t be forgotten, and Godspeed.

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4 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    The Tribune's depiction of St. Petersburg as a decrepit Albanian Village in the first stadium battle (and Tom McEwens lifelong hatred of the St. Pete Times, his former employer) formed attitudes about the Trop and the stadium location that hamper the Rays franchise to this day. Ironic that as we enter phase 2 of stadium location, maybe a tone of regionalism will prevail so that the future Corks won't think they are traitors for consuming a product made a full 20 miles away. If you have spent time in other areas of the country, the St. Pete-Tampa rivalry stoked by its newspapers seem particularly small given the other issues the Region faces. But it was real for a very long time.

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    • Geoff Peterson says:

      Agreed, the rivalry created by Tampa's superiority complex have set the region back decades. Maybe now they can present the Tampa Bay area as a region and local government can consolidate things like transportation, taxes etc. to save all of us money.

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      • Michael says:

        LOL you mean St Petersburg's inferiority complex?

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        • Geoff Peterson says:

          Actually no, St Pete has done a good job of standing on their own for several years and have never presented themselves as inferior. It's only in Tampa where they still try to promulgate the stereotype of the old people sitting around on benches as the image of St Pete. I don't live in either city and enjoy both for what they offer but downtown St Pete is currently more trendy for those in the know. Tampa has some great places but is much more spread out in terms of restaurants, venues, etc.

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