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'Tropical Breeze' in Safety Harbor drops print edition

SAFETY HARBOR — Due in part to the economy and the cost of printing, this city's only newspaper, the Tropical Breeze, has switched to an online-only format.

It can now be found only at www.tropicalbreeze.com.

The 19-year-old advertiser-supported monthly, which features news, guest columns, upper Tampa Bay tides, people news, arts and lifestyles, humor, comics and reader photos, is published by Floyd E. Egner III and his wife of 29 years, Sue Suby.

"We never knew we'd be doing it for so long,'' Suby said. "We just got so deeply involved in the community.''

In the 1980s, Suby came up with the name of the paper by accident.

As the president of the chamber of commerce, she sometimes traveled to Tallahassee as part of her duties.

While there, she would often search through the archives for Safety Harbor information.

One day, she found a nifty piece of history: A newspaper called the Tropical Breeze, which was published in 1915 and lasted for one year.

She thought that would be the perfect name for the newspaper she and her husband were planning.

Egner, an author and former reporter for the Clearwater Sun and the Tampa Bay Business Journal, does the editorial writing.

At its peak, the Tropical Breeze had a circulation of 15,000, Suby said. She wouldn't estimate how many were printed for its last print edition in October, but she did say the numbers tended to be higher during tourist season.

For the past three years, the paper was available at 100 locations in Safety Harbor — and some locations outside the city — as well as online.

When Suby and Egner decided it was time to sell, they could not find a buyer who would care for the Breeze as much as they did, so they went to the online format.

So far, it has worked out.

"It's a big shift, but I can do more now,'' Suby said. "I can attend to more of the items when they come in.''

Eileen Schulte can be reached at schulte@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4153.

'Tropical Breeze' in Safety Harbor drops print edition 02/09/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 9, 2009 10:48pm]
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