On the Tampa Tribune’s horrendous circulation numbers


Yesterday was the day when horse-and-buggy companies, i.e., newspapers found out their latest ridership circulation numbers.

How each newspaper across the county covered the latest numbers was very interesting, with, perhaps, no media company acting as obnoxiously as the Tampa Bay Times, which went out of its way to  pour salt on the wounds of its competition, the Tampa Tribune, with which the Times competes for readers in Hillsborough County.

Joe DeLuca, Tampa publisher and vice president for the Times, said the paper had already been growing in Hillsborough County when it was called the St. Petersburg Times.

“But the rate of growth doubled after the change of the name,” he said. “I attribute that to the region recognizing that the brand that we have represents who we are and who they are and that we have a match.”

As for the Trib, it’s circulation is down 12% and there’s not much the paper can do to change the trajectory.  It’s not like that newspaper will be changing it’s name to the Tampa Bay Tribune.

Yet, as Creative Loafing‘s Mitch Perry notes, the Trib is better than it has been in a long time. Joe Henderson has been a welcome addition, writing columns in the metro section, and the paper has definitely scored some scoops over the Tampa Bay Times on Tampa stories, such as the tax refund fraud outbreak in the city and region.

But how long can the Tribune survive when it is losing 20,000 readers per annum?

Perhaps the Trib can create a free daily newspaper and give that away, just as the Times does with *tbt, and artificially inflate its circulation numbers.