St. Petersburg Times evolves into Tampa Bay Times
A letter to readers
Since I started here as a reporter in 1978, I have answered my phone with some version of “St. Pete Times.” I will need to learn a new habit.
On Sunday, Jan. 1, we changed our name to the Tampa Bay Times. The new name reflects the growth of our newspaper and our vision for this region.
This change was a long time coming. For decades, the Times has been reaching north and east from St. Petersburg. Nearly 25 years ago, we launched our Tampa edition; on a typical Sunday, it routinely sells more than 100,000 copies. By a wide margin, the Times is Florida's favorite newspaper.
With that success, our name no longer fit the newspaper or the audience we serve. Three-fourths of Times readers live outside St. Petersburg.
To send your questions or feedback about our name change, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New name. Same great newspaper.
Reaction from Tampa Bay community leaders
“This is a significant development for the entire Tampa Bay region. It sends a fantastic signal when our major institutions stand up for a unified region and for a collaborative community. This is the bold leadership we need as we continue to build a fantastic area to live and work and create and learn. News, like education, is at the core of what binds us together. It speaks to policy, to culture, to health, to science, to learning. That's been the hallmark of the St. Petersburg Times, and I'm looking forward to seeing it at the core of the new Tampa Bay Times.”
president, University of
South Florida System
“Changing the name of the paper to Tampa Bay Times may sound simple, but it will require major effort and investment. Considering your success as the St. Petersburg Times, it would have been easy to leave well enough alone, so I commend you for having the courage to make this decision. The Times has grown from its local origins to become the region's largest newspaper, and it makes sense to align the name with your audience throughout Tampa Bay. Beyond the business logic, this decision feels right for our region. You may be helping your audience feel more connected to the broader Tampa Bay community. For that, I thank you, and I wish you much success.”
president and CEO, Sykes Enterprises
“Change is seldom easy, but is often required for growth and long-term success. That is true in our personal lives, in government and in business. The St. Petersburg Times will now be known as the Tampa Bay Times. That is a big change, but not the first in the newspaper's history. Other changes may have been unsettling at the time, but in retrospect they helped position the Times for continued success. In this era of global competition, our community is changing, too. Our regional identity, diversity and assets are the keys to our future prosperity. The Tampa Bay Times reflects the emergence of the community of Tampa Bay.”
Pinellas County commissioner
“The Tampa Bay Times reflects a 21st century reality – we must think and act as a region. This does not diminish our pride and identification with our hometowns. My special affection for Temple Terrace, where I grew up, does not lessen my commitment to the city of Tampa. Thinking as a regional citizen embraces a broader vision of community. We already share a common media market and cheer on our regional sports teams. Working together gives us the best opportunity for economic expansion and a superior quality of life. This change in name for the Times rightly describes our identity moving forward.”
Former mayor, Tampa
“The settlements around our bay grew into one. Tampa Bay became the pendant of the necklace of shining cities strung around its shores. Distinctive places kept their flair of personality while adhering interests bridged the bay into one metropolis of common character and united aims. So it is natural and right to broaden the newspaper's name now to fit the reality and become the Tampa Bay Times, just as its digital site, tampabay.com, and its print alternative, tbt*, have long since worn the wider sign. We move secure in the pledge of Paul Tash and his staff to lock in the values that have guided the St. Petersburg Times as of old while elevating anew the heights of excellence it aspires to ascend.”
editor emeritus, St. Petersburg Times
“I bought the Tampa Bay Lightning because I believe in this region and the people living here. So does the Times. The Lightning proudly support our partners for their vision as a world-class newspaper serving their readers and our community. Our arena will soon be known as the Tampa Bay Times Forum, newly renovated and newly named, showcasing all that our unique region has to offer. We want to be a beacon for Tampa Bay, hosting tens of thousand of fans and seen by millions more across North America. Like the Times, we strive to be a world-class enterprise serving a united region.”
owner, Tampa Bay Lightning
“Here's the bottom line: No other organization has made as much of an impact for our community and this chamber as those who have built, guided and worked at the St. Petersburg Times. Today's historic announcement reinforces the chamber's confidence that the Times will remain a strong, viable corporate leader for St. Petersburg while growing the much-needed connection to our neighbors around this bay. Finally, maybe, hopefully – it's time for all of us to get on the same page for a future together.”
President & CEO, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce