Tampa Bay Times Buys |Competitor Tribune

     ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s largest newspaper, The Tampa Bay Times, said Tuesday it has purchased its main competitor, the Tampa Tribune, ending a decades-long newspaper rivalry.
     Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash said he intends to create one financially secure, locally owned daily newspaper in the Tampa Bay region. Tash did not disclose the purchase price.
     “The continued competition between the newspapers was threatening to both,” Tash said in a statement. “There are very few cities that are able to sustain more than one daily newspaper, and the Tampa Bay region is not among them.”
     The Times bought the paper from Revolution Capital Group, which bought the Tribune in 2012 for $9.5 million.
     The purchase marks the end of the 123-year-old Tampa Tribune as a stand-alone newspaper. The Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize in 1966.
     “It’s fair to say we’ve seen this day coming for a very long time,” Tash said. “We are committed to being Florida’s best newspaper to all of our readers and advertisers.”
     The Times, which remains one of the nation’s few independent newspapers, is owned by the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit school for journalists. The newspaper began its history 131 years ago as the West Hillsborough Times out of Dunedin, the paper said on its website.
     It was known for most of its existence as the St. Petersburg Times, but changed its name to the Tampa Bay Times in 2012 to reflect the home territory it serves. In April, the Times won its 11th and 12th Pulitzer Prizes, for local and investigative reporting.
     Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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