ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Times has signed a five-year contract to print the Tampa Tribune and its affiliated publications, executives with both newspapers said.
The contract, terms of which were not disclosed, includes all publications under the umbrella of the Tampa Media Group, the Tribune's parent. The Times will transition this month toward printing all editions and weekly sections of the Tribune and its affiliates — including Centro, Highlands Today and the Suncoast News — and taking over commercial printing contracts the Tribune has with the New York Post and the MacDill Thunderbolt, a weekly newspaper about MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
The contract has no effect on the competing news organizations' news and advertising operations. The Tribune will maintain its own newspaper delivery service.
"We take great pride in all of our printing work and look forward to providing our high standard of quality and excellence to the Tribune," said Joe DeLuca, Times Tampa publisher and vice president.
"We are excited for this opportunity in working with the Tampa Bay Times on the production side of our business. Like many other markets, newspapers are combining services, such as production, to create efficiencies and savings that otherwise would be very tough to find," said Brian Burns, publisher of the Tribune.
It is not unusual in today's newspaper industry for one paper to print its competitor. The Dallas Morning News began printing the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2014. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune prints the Bradenton Herald, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel prints the Palm Beach Post.
The Times has been expanding its commercial printing business over the past few years and recently added USA Today to its portfolio.
The Tribune's printing arrangement with the Times was sparked by the sale in July of the Tribune's headquarters and printing plant at 202 S Parker St. in downtown Tampa to a Miami developer for $17.75 million. The developer plans a mid-rise residential project on the site.