CL sale, rising costs forcing tbt* to ‘return to roots’ as a weekly

tamoa bay times building

One day after news broke of the alternative weekly Creative Loafing Tampa sale, the Tampa Bay Times is making some changes to its own free newspaper.

Beginning June 7, tbt* – the Times’ free daily tabloid – will “return to its roots” as a weekly publication. According to a statement Tuesday, the change will help the daily general-interest newspaper become the “weekly go-to news and lifestyle guide for busy Millennials and Gen Xers in the Tampa Bay area.”

Another reason for the cutback is rising costs from new tariffs on Canadian newsprint, as explained Tuesday by tbt* editor Ellen Clarke:

Dear readers,

Back in 2004, tbt* launched in the Tampa Bay area as a free, weekly entertainment and general interest newspaper. We became a daily newspaper delivered to offices and newsstands in 2006.

And wow, it’s been fun. The tbt* staff prides itself in more than 12 years of fast news you can use Monday through Friday. And we love how our readers have embraced a different kind of newspaper.

Now, tariffs placed on Canadian newsprint have caused our paper costs to skyrocket — you can read a message about this from Paul Tash, the CEO and chairman of Times Publishing Co., at

One of the fallouts of that tariff burden is that in June, tbt* will become a weekly newspaper again.

We’ll publish each Thursday with everything you need to know to plan your weekend and into the next week. The (still free) weekly tbt* will have interesting new content, like an expanded focus on LGBTQ issues and a sports planner and commentary. We also plan to send out a daily email for our devoted news junkies — you can sign up now at

For now, the daily tbt* will be with you until June 1. We’ll update you on our exciting plans for the weekly tbt* as that date draws closer.

Thank you, readers.

“As industry trends evolve, we need to continually reimagine and inject new life into our publications,” said Tampa Bay Times vice president Joe DeLuca. “tbt* has been an incredible success story for the Times over the past 14 years. We are excited about the changes we are making and have no doubt that it will continue to be an important part of our readers’ lives as a vibrant and informative weekly publication.”

The revamped tbt* will go out Thursdays, featuring a mix of abbreviated news, entertainment and business articles, along with cartoons, photos and lifestyle features. Readers can also expect expanded coverage of the LGBTQ community, fitness, sports analysis and pop culture. There will also be an associated daily email digest.

To meet the added demand, the Times will produce 10,000 more copies of tbt* a week, bringing the total to 100,000 copies available through about 2,000 locations across the Tampa Bay Area.

This week, Cleveland-based Euclid Media Group – which also owns Orlando Weekly and several other similar publications – completed the purchase of Creative Loafing Tampa, the award-winning weekly previously owned by SouthComm Inc. With a focus on online growth, the new owners laid off several employees including Editor-in-Chief David Warner, political editor Kate Bradshaw, creative director Julio Ramos, operations director Kelly Knaggs, photographer James Ostrand and account executive Claire Sayetta.

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704