The Tampa Bay Times, previously named the St. Petersburg Times through 2011, is an American newspaper published in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. It has won twelve Pulitzer Prizes since 1964, and in 2009, won two in a single year for the first time in its history, one of which was for its PolitiFact project. It is published by the Times Publishing Company, which is owned by The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a nonprofit journalism school directly adjacent to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus. Many issues are available through Google News Archive. A daily electronic version is also available for the Amazon Kindle and iPad.
|Tampa Bay Times|
The January 1, 2012, front page of the first edition of the Tampa Bay Times.
|Owner(s)||Times Publishing Company|
|Headquarters||490 First Avenue South|
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
The newspaper traces its origins to the West Hillsborough Times, a weekly newspaper established in Dunedin, Florida on the Pinellas peninsula in 1884. At the time, neither St. Petersburg nor Pinellas County existed; the peninsula was part of Hillsborough County. The paper was published weekly in the back of a pharmacy and had a circulation of 480. It subsequently changed ownership six times in seventeen years. In December 1884 it was bought by A. C. Turner, who moved it to Clear Water Harbor (modern Clearwater, Florida). In 1892 it moved to St. Petersburg, and by 1898 it was officially renamed the St. Petersburg Times.
The Times became bi-weekly in 1907, and began publication six days a week in 1912. Paul Poynter, a publisher originally from Indiana, bought the paper in September 1912 and converted to a seven-day paper, though it was rarely financially stable. Paul's son, Nelson Poynter, became editor in 1939 and took majority control of the paper in 1947, and set about improving the paper's finances and prestige. Nelson Poynter controlled the paper until his death in 1978, when he willed the majority of the stock to the non-profit Poynter Institute. In November 1986, the Evening Independent was merged into the Times. Poynter was succeeded as editor by Eugene Patterson (1978–1988), Andrew Barnes (1988–2004), Paul Tash (2004–2010; chair of the Times Publishing Company since 2004 and the Poynter Institute since 2007) Neil Brown (2010–2017), and Mark Katches (2018-present) .
On January 1, 2012, the St. Petersburg Times was renamed the Tampa Bay Times; this stemmed from a 2006 decision of a lawsuit with Media General, at the time the publishers of the Times' competing newspaper, The Tampa Tribune, which allowed that paper to keep its exclusive right to use the name of its defunct sister paper, The Tampa Times, for five years after the decision.
As the newly rechristened Tampa Bay Times, the paper's weekday tabloid tbt*, a free daily publication and which used "(* Tampa Bay Times)" as its subtitle, became just tbt when the name change took place. The St. Pete Times name lives on as the name for the Times' neighborhood news sections in southern Pinellas County (formerly Neighborhood Times), serving communities from Largo southward.
The Times has also done significant investigative reporting on the Church of Scientology, since the church's acquisition of the Fort Harrison Hotel in 1975 and other holdings in Clearwater. The Times has published special reports and series critical of the church and its current leader, David Miscavige.
In 2010, the Times published an investigative report questioning the validity of the United States Navy Veterans Association, leading to significant reaction and official investigations into the group nationwide.
On May 3, 2016, the Times acquired its longtime competitor The Tampa Tribune, with the latter publication immediately ceasing publishing and Tribune features and some writers expected to be merged into the Times. As reported by other local media outlets in the Tampa Bay area at the time of this acquisition, for many years the Tampa Tribune was considered to be the more conservative newspaper in the region, while the Tampa Bay Times was thought of as more liberal.
The Times' purchase of The Tribune also allowed its circulation area to be expanded into Polk County, placing it in competition with other newspapers such as The Lakeland Ledger and The Polk County Democrat, as well as into the south central region of the state known as the Florida Heartland. In the case of the latter, the Times published Highlands Today, which was a daily news supplement of The Tribune for readers in Highlands County. The Times sold the paper in 2016 to Sun Coast Media Group.
The newspaper created PolitiFact.com, a project in which its reporters and editors "fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups…" They publish original statements and their evaluations on the PolitiFact.com website, and assign each a "Truth-O-Meter" rating, with ratings ranging from "True" for completely true statements to "Pants on Fire" (from the taunt "Liar, liar, pants on fire") for false and ridiculous statements. The site also includes an "Obameter", tracking U.S. President Barack Obama's performance with regard to his campaign promises. PolitiFact.com was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2009 for "its fact-checking initiative during the 2008 presidential campaign that used probing reporters and the power of the World Wide Web to examine more than 750 political claims, separating rhetoric from truth to enlighten voters." The Times sold PolitiFact.com to its parent company, the Poynter Institute, in 2018.
|2016||Pulitzer Prize||"For exposing a local school board's culpability in turning some county schools into failure factories, with tragic consequences for the community. (Moved by the Board from the Public Service category, where it was also entered.)"||Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner||Local Reporting||Won|
|2016||Pulitzer Prize||"For a stellar example of collaborative reporting by two news organizations that revealed escalating violence and neglect in Florida mental hospitals and laid the blame at the door of state officials."||Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier of the Tampa Bay Times and Michael Braga of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune||Investigative Reporting||Won|
|2014||Pulitzer Prize||"For relentlessly investigating the squalid conditions that marked housing for Hillsborough County's substantial homeless population, leading to swift reforms."||Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia||Local Reporting||Won|
|2013||Pulitzer Prize||"For helping reverse the decision to end fluoridation of water in Pinellas County."||Tim Nickens and Daniel Ruth||Editorial Writing||Won|
|2012||Pulitzer Prize||Tim Nickens, Joni James, John Hill and Robyn Blumner||Editorial Writing||Finalist|
|2010||National Headliner Awards||"Inside Scientology"||Thomas C. Tobin and Joe Childs||Investigative reporting||Finalist|
|Florida Society of News Editors||Gold Medal for Public Service||Won|
|Pulitzer Prize||"For Their Own Good"||Ben Montgomery, Waveney Ann Moore, and photographer Edmund D. Fountain||Local Reporting||Finalist|
|2009||Pulitzer Prize||PolitiFact.com||Times staff, represented by Bill Adair, Washington bureau chief||National Reporting||Won|
|"The Girl in the Window"||Lane DeGregory||Feature Writing||Won|
|"Winter's Tale"||John Barry||Feature Writing||Finalist|
|2007||Scripps Howard Foundation||Human Interest Writing||Lane DeGregory||Ernie Pyle Award||Won|
|"A Republican vs. Republican Cellular Division"||Wes Allison||Raymond Clapper Award||Won|
|Pulitzer Prize||"In His Own Defense"||Christopher Goffard||Feature Writing||Finalist|
|2003||Scripps Howard Foundation||Human Interest Writing||Kelley Benham||Ernie Pyle Award||Won|
|2002||Scripps Howard Foundation||"The Poison in Your Back Yard"||Julie Hauserman||Edward J. Meeman Award||Won|
|2000||Pulitzer Prize||"Una Vida Mejor"||Anne Hull||Feature Writing||Finalist|
|1999||Sigma Delta Chi||"Deadly Rampage"||Times staff||Excellence in deadline reporting||Won|
|Investigative report of U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown||Bill Adair and David Dahl||Washington correspondence||Won|
|1998||Pulitzer Prize||"Angels & Demons"||Thomas French||Feature Writing||Won|
|Investigative report of The Rev. Henry Lyons||Times staff||Investigative Reporting||Finalist|
|The "Tobacco" series||David Barstow||Explanatory Reporting||Finalist|
|1997||Pulitzer Prize||Coverage of the 1996 St. Petersburg riot||Times staff||Spot News Reporting||Finalist|
|1995||Pulitzer Prize||"Final Indignities"||Jeffrey Good||Editorial Writing||Won|
|"A Secret Life"||Anne Hull||Feature Writing||Finalist|
|1992||Pulitzer Prize||"Life From Death"||Sheryl James||Feature Writing||Finalist|
|1991||Pulitzer Prize||"A Gift Abandoned"||Sheryl James||Feature Writing||Won|
|1985||Pulitzer Prize||Corruption in Pasco County Sheriff's Office||Lucy Morgan and Jack Reed||Investigative Reporting||Won|
|1982||Pulitzer Prize||Coverage of drug smuggling in Dixie County, Florida||Lucy Morgan||Local General or Spot News Reporting||Finalist|
|1980||Pulitzer Prize||Investigation of Church of Scientology operations in Florida||Bette Swenson Orsini and Charles Stafford||National Reporting||Won|
|Times staff||Public Service||Finalist|
|1969||Penney-Missouri Award||Women's section||Marjorie Paxson||General Excellence||Won|
|1964||Pulitzer Prize||Investigation of Florida Turnpike Authority||Martin Waldron and Times staff||Meritorious Public Service||Won|
Inside Scientology – The St. Petersburg Times reporting on the Church of Scientology is in the finest traditions of American journalism. The reporting by Joseph Childs and Thomas Tobin stands out for the ways in which it held accountable the powerful.
Two human polls comprised the 1978 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-A football rankings. Unlike most sports, college football's governing body, the NCAA, does not bestow a national championship, instead that title is bestowed by one or more different polling agencies. There are two main weekly polls that begin in the preseason—the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll.1979 NCAA Division I-A football rankings
Two human polls comprised the 1979 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-A football rankings. Unlike most sports, college football's governing body, the NCAA, does not bestow a national championship, instead that title is bestowed by one or more different polling agencies. There are two main weekly polls that begin in the preseason—the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll.1980 NCAA Division I-A football rankings
Two human polls comprised the 1980 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-A football rankings. Unlike most sports, college football's governing body, the NCAA, does not bestow a national championship, instead that title is bestowed by one or more different polling agencies. There are two main weekly polls that begin in the preseason—the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll.2012 Tampa Bay Storm season
The 2012 Tampa Bay Storm season was the 25th season for the franchise, and their 21st in the Tampa Bay area. The team was coached by Dave Ewart and played their home games at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. With a final record of 8–10, the Storm missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season. 2012, was the first season in which the Storm used their new logo and uniform colors.2013 St. Petersburg, Florida mayoral election
The 2013 St. Petersburg mayoral election took place on November 5, 2013 to elect the mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida. A non-partisan primary election was held on August 27, 2013. No candidate won a majority of the vote, so the top two finishers, incumbent Mayor Bill Foster and former State Representative Rick Kriseman, advanced to a runoff.
After a campaign described as "nasty", "partisan", "contentious" and "the costliest in [St. Petersburg] history", Foster lost to Kriseman by 56% to 44%, becoming the first incumbent mayor of St. Petersburg to lose a race for re-election in more than 26 years.
Adam C. Smith of the Tampa Bay Times wrote that although 70% of voters approved of where the city was heading and Foster was "a good man who presided over no corruption scandal, no violent racial unrest", he only proved to be "adequate" at the job. He also "underestimat[ed] voters' intelligence, talking about a secret plan to keep the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg", had an "ever-shifting" position on the St. Petersburg Pier and alienated African-American voters in Midtown. Kriseman, Smith wrote, capitalized on this to win "considerable" African-American support and ran as a "safe, credible alternative for those unimpressed with the incumbent", promising to govern like popular former Mayor Rick Baker.2013–14 Tampa Bay Lightning season
The 2013–14 Tampa Bay Lightning season was the franchise's 22nd season in the National Hockey League (NHL).2014 Florida's 13th congressional district special election
A special election for Florida's 13th congressional district was held March 11, 2014, to elect a member of the United States House of Representatives, following the death of incumbent Republican Congressman Bill Young on October 18, 2013. Primary elections were held on January 14, 2014. Young, who had already announced that he would not be running for re-election in 2014, was re-elected in 2012 with 57 percent of the vote. With 100% of the precincts reporting, David Jolly was declared the winner of the special election.2014 Tampa Bay Storm season
The 2014 Tampa Bay Storm season was the 27th season for the franchise in the Arena Football League, and their 23rd in the Tampa Bay area. The team was coached by Lawrence Samuels, following his promotion from offensive coordinator. They played their home games at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Finishing the regular season with an 8–10 record, the Storm failed to reach the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.2017 St. Petersburg, Florida mayoral election
The 2017 St. Petersburg, Florida mayoral election was held on November 7, 2017, to elect the next mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, in a general election, with a primary election which took place on August 29, 2017. Incumbent mayor Rick Kriseman, a Democrat, opted to seek re-election. His opponent in the runoff was Republican former mayor Rick Baker (2001–2010). The election was officially non-partisan.
Incumbent Rick Kriseman won the re-election.Amalie Arena
The Amalie Arena is an arena in Tampa, Florida that has been used for ice hockey, basketball, arena football games, and concerts. It is home to the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League.
The building was originally known as the Ice Palace. In August 2002, the building's naming rights were sold to the St. Petersburg Times, which became the Tampa Bay Times in January 2012; accordingly, the arena was known as the St. Pete Times Forum from 2002 to 2012 and Tampa Bay Times Forum (2012–2014). In September 2014, the arena was renamed Amalie Arena when the naming rights were transferred to Amalie Oil Company.David Jolly
David Wilson Jolly (born October 31, 1972) is an American attorney, former lobbyist, and politician who served as the U.S. Representative for Florida's 13th congressional district from 2014 to 2017. A former Republican, he previously served as general counsel to his predecessor, Bill Young. He won the race for Young's seat in a special election against Democrat Alex Sink. He was subsequently reelected in November 2014, winning 75 percent of the vote, but was unseated in 2016 by former Governor Charlie Crist. Since leaving office, Jolly has become a prominent Republican critic of U.S. President Donald Trump. In September 2018, Jolly and his wife left the Republican Party.Evening Independent
The Evening Independent was St. Petersburg, Florida's first daily newspaper. The sister evening newspaper of the St. Petersburg Times, it was launched as a weekly newspaper in March 1906 under the ownership of Willis B. Powell. In November 1907, it became a daily paper as the St. Petersburg Evening Independent.
The newspaper was best known for its "Sunshine Offer", which was first enacted in 1910 by Major Lew Brown; as a way to publicize St. Petersburg as "The Sunshine City", the paper offered its copies for free following days in which the sun did not shine in St. Petersburg. From 1910 until the paper folded in 1986, the Evening Independent made good on its offer 296 times.
The Evening Independent was acquired by the Times in 1962, when its previous owner, the Thomson newspaper chain, threatened to close it down. Roy Thomson had originally bought the Independent so he would have a place to moor his yacht.The Evening Independent was merged into the Times in November 1986, initially as part of the Times's "City Times and Independent" section; the "Independent" name would soon be dropped.
Every issue of the Evening Independent, along with the Times, is available for viewing on Google News Archive.Leonora LaPeter Anton
Leonora LaPeter Anton is an American journalist with the Tampa Bay Times. Anton was a co-recipient of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.Michael Steinberg (lawyer)
Michael Alan Steinberg (born February 6, 1959) is an American lawyer and politician. He has been an unsuccessful candidate in several Florida state legislature elections, and a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2016 election. He was also the Reform Party's nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2016 election.
Steinberg has been practicing law for over 30 years, and his firm, Michael Steinberg & Associates, provides legal services to clients in social security, veteran's compensation, long-term disability insurance, and state disability matters. The Tampa Bay Times cited him saying that the aging population of Tampa Bay and the area's declining economy were the cause of an increase in local legal claims. Between 2008 and 2009, the 21 percent increase in social security disability legal claims in Tampa Bay broke the nationwide record.In 2014, his wife Miriam ran for a Florida state legislature seat in District 64, where he had run unsuccessfully in 2002.PolitiFact
PolitiFact.com is a nonprofit project operated by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, with offices there and in Washington, D.C.. It began in 2007 as a project of the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times), with reporters and editors from the newspaper and its affiliated news media partners reporting on the accuracy of statements made by elected officials, candidates, their staffs, lobbyists, interest groups and others involved in U.S. politics. Its journalists evaluate original statements and publish their findings on the PolitiFact.com website, where each statement receives a "Truth-O-Meter" rating. The ratings range from "True" for completely accurate statements to "Pants on Fire" (from the taunt "Liar, liar, pants on fire") for false and ridiculous claims.
PunditFact, a related site that was also created by the Times' editors, is devoted to fact-checking claims made by political pundits. Both PolitiFact and PunditFact were funded primarily by the Tampa Bay Times and ad revenues generated on the website until 2018, and the Times continues to sell ads for the site now that it is part of Poynter, a non-profit organization that also owns the newspaper. PolitiFact increasingly relies on grants from several nonpartisan organizations, and in 2017 launched a membership campaign and began accepting donations from readers.In addition to political claims, the site monitors the progress elected officials make on their campaign promises, including a "Trump-O-Meter" for President Donald Trump and an "Obameter" for President Barack Obama. PolitiFact.com's local affiliates review promises by elected officials of regional relevance, as evidenced by PolitiFact Tennessee's "Haslam-O-Meter" tracking Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam's efforts and Wisconsin's "Walk-O-Meter" tracking Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's efforts.PolitiFact has won several awards, and has been both praised and criticized by independent observers, conservatives and liberals alike. Both liberal and conservative bias have been alleged at different points, and criticisms have been made that PolitiFact attempts to fact-check statements that cannot be truly "fact-checked".Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a non-profit journalism school and research organization located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The school is the owner of the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.Ron DeSantis
Ronald Dion DeSantis (born September 14, 1978) is an American attorney, former Naval officer, and politician serving as the 46th governor of Florida since January 2019. A Republican, he represented Florida's 6th congressional district in Congress from 2013 to 2018. After graduating from Yale University and Harvard Law School, DeSantis served as an officer and attorney in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy (JAG).
DeSantis was a candidate in Florida's 2016 U.S. Senate election, but withdrew when incumbent senator Marco Rubio announced that he would seek reelection. DeSantis then opted to run for re-election to his U.S. House seat and was re-elected in November 2016. An ally of President Donald Trump, DeSantis made frequent criticisms of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, urging Trump to shut down or significantly limit the investigation.On August 28, 2018, DeSantis won the Republican primary for governor of Florida. On September 10, 2018, DeSantis resigned from his seat in the House of Representatives to focus on his gubernatorial campaign. DeSantis was officially certified as the winner on November 20, 2018, following a machine recount, defeating Democratic nominee and mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum. At age 40, DeSantis is the youngest incumbent governor in the United States.
Following his inauguration, DeSantis has sought an increase in bipartisanship within the state legislature and implemented various reforms in regards to the environment, drug policy, and the state budget; he allocated $2.5 billion for Everglades restoration, urged the legislature to support broader use of medical cannabis, supported budget increases and appointed several Democrats to positions in his cabinet, moves that surprised both parties and drew praise from lawmakers and the media, with DeSantis telling the Tampa Bay Times that he was "basically doing what I said I was going to do." A February 2019 Public Opinion Research poll indicated a 64% approval, and a 24% disapproval rating for DeSantis, while a March 2019 Quinnipiac University poll found 59% and 17%, respectively, making him one of the most popular governors in the country.The Tampa Tribune
The Tampa Tribune was a daily newspaper published in Tampa, Florida. One of two major newspapers published in the Tampa Bay area, the Tribune was second in circulation and readership to the Tampa Bay Times.
The newspaper also published a St. Petersburg Tribune edition, sold and distributed in Pinellas County. It published a Sunday magazine, Florida Accent, during the 1960s and 1970s. The Tampa Tribune also operated Highlands Today, a daily newspaper in Sebring. The Tribune stopped publishing the Hernando Today, which was located in Brooksville, on Dec. 1, 2014, citing "a tough newspaper advertising climate."On May 3, 2016, the Tampa Bay Times announced that it had acquired the Tribune, and was combining the Times and Tribune's operations, ending publication of the Tribune.Times Publishing Company
Times Publishing Company is a newspaper and magazine publisher. Its flagship publication is the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times), a daily newspaper serving the Tampa Bay area. It also publishes the business magazine Florida Trend and the daily newspaper tbt*.
Times Publishing Company is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is owned by the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism school in St. Petersburg. The current chairman and CEO of Times Publishing Company is Paul Tash, who also serves as editor of the Tampa Bay Times.
On January 1, 2012, the St. Petersburg Times was renamed the Tampa Bay Times, with tbt* (which was an acronym for "Tampa Bay Times") only referred to by that name.
Pulitzer Prize for Public Service (1951–1975)