Saturday, December 13, 2008

Trib Online Only? No, Shouts Full-Page Ad

So, was anyone besides me puzzled by the full-page ad in The Tampa Tribune that shouted:

“THE TAMPA TRIBUNE IS HERE TO STAY.”

Hmmmmmmmmmm . . .

It seems the house ad was designed to quell a rumor that Mother Trib was going “online only” in January—at least that’s what www.medialifemagazine.com claims.

Apparently the ruckus was caused by Gerald Ensley who wrote recently in the Tallahassee Democrat that, “The Christian Science Monitor quit being a newspaper: It will publish online only. Reportedly, the Tampa Tribune will follow suit in January.”

Aw, come on Gerald, were you poking MT in the eye or do you really know something?

Regardless, The Trib’s punch line for the full-page ad is “The presses are running.”

Too bad they’re not printing moola.

TRIBUNE UPDATE: FIGHTING BACK

In an impassioned rebuttal to rumors and innuendos, Executive Editor Janet Coats and President/Publisher Denise Palmer made plain that “This Newspaper Is Fighting Back.”

That headline appeared on the cover of the VIEWS section of The Tampa Tribune on Sunday, Dec. 14.

“It's time to set the record straight,” they wrote, and their stabs and jabs included a few choice pops at that newspaper across the Bay, the St. Petersburg Times.

Among the comments: “Subscription solicitation crews, working for the St. Petersburg Times, spread rumors that the Tribune is closing in January. We have asked the Times to stop the solicitors from spreading this lie.”

The two executives also offered a detailed comparison between the Tribune and Times re: story counts and coverage, noting that the Trib was holding its own generally and excelling in a number of areas, including news coverage of its home county of Hillsborough.

They also made plain that some people wrongly assumed that when the Chicago-based Tribune Company declared bankruptcy, it meant The Tampa Tribune.

Not so, Coats and Palmer wrote: “For the record, we are not. We are owned by Richmond, Va.-based Media General; our company is not seeking protection in the bankruptcy courts.”

The two did admit, however, that, “These are difficult times for the newspaper business.”

To read the full text from Coats and Palmer, go to:

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/dec/14/newspaper-fighting-back

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