In a shocking announcement, the Tampa Bay Times has purchased the Tampa Tribune, with plans to consolidate operations to one newspaper.
It is not known whether this will expand regional sports coverage, or result in a decrease. At least 100 employees at the Tribune are anticipated to be laid off.
Here is a video from the Times on the merger:
The purchase of the Tampa Tribune puts the Times on solid financial footing and gives the Tampa Bay region an independent, locally owned newspaper that can keep serving customers and communities for the long term.
Without this move, the continued competition between the Times and Tribune was putting both in peril. In today's economy, you can count on one hand the number of cities that can sustain more than one daily newspaper, and the Tampa Bay region is no longer among them.
The electronic arms of the publications will continue, as of now:
Each newspaper has built its own website, and we will keep both. All Times (and former Tribune) subscribers have unlimited access to tampabay.com and the related digital products. The Tribune website, tbo.com, will remain entirely free, without limits on usage. We are planning steps to enhance both websites.
We recognize that the purchase of the Tribune comes with some cost. After 121 years, the Tribune will no longer be a daily newspaper, and the people who work for it will be moving on, either to the Times or somewhere else. That process started in February, when the Tribune moved its printing to the Times, and will continue over the next two months.
It should be noted that an increase in quality of journalism may be an outcome of the merger. The Tampa Bay Times has won 12 Pulitzer Prizes, and is well respected as a publication.