Tampa Tribune Changes Its Name in St. Petersburg; Newspaper War - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Tribune Changes Its Name in St. Petersburg; Newspaper War Heats Up

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Walk down the streets of St. Petersburg and you'll find a new newspaper in town.

Well, sort of.

"We've had people for a lot of years tell us they'd like for us to be in Pinellas with our news operation and have more in-depth coverage, have editorials about issues that face Pinellas County in particular," said Bill Barker, Tribune publisher.

The Tampa Tribune is now the St. Petersburg Tribune in Pinellas County.

The name-change intensifies the newspaper war between the Tribune and the St. Petersburg-based paper, which ironically has dropped St. Pete from its name, in favor of the Tampa Bay Times.

"The Times has taken a very broad look at things, and we're looking at it more from being a community publisher by nature, being more connected with that local and small advertiser as well as connecting with the local reader," Barker said.

The new addition is a change of thinking for the Tribune, which a few years ago, pulled reporting resources out of Pinellas County.

The big question remains: can this town support two newspapers?

Coralette Damme says she subscribes to the Times and can't imagine switching. But, she says she'll give the Tribune a chance. Either way, the more journalism in St. Petersburg, the better, she said.

"It's always great to have more viewpoints, and if they're hiring local journalists to cover local stories, great," Damme said.

Joe Gray, says his father, celebrating his 95th birthday tomorrow, has always read a newspaper.

"That's what's kept him going all these years. The St. Pete Times, The Tampa Tribune, and now the St. Pete Tribune is going to keep him going a little bit further."

Still, St. Petersburg is a town with a deep-routed history with the "other" newspaper.

"My loyalty is with the Tampa Bay Times, so I wouldn't want [The Tribune] here," said Sherri McLauchlin.

That's a sentiment the new Tribune addition with have to overcome.

But it has one thing going for it: it's now the only St. Pete paper with St. Pete in its name.

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