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 Tampa Bay Times, previously named the St. Petersburg Times, is an American newspaper published in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is one of two major publications serving the Tampa Bay Area, the other being The Tampa Tribune, which the Times has long topped in both circulation and readership. The Times has won 10 Pulitzer Prizes since 1964, and in 2009, won two in a single year for the first time in the paper's history. 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.
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 by Eugene Patterson (1978 to 1988), Andrew Barnes (1988 to 2004) and Paul C. Tash (2004 to 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, the publishers of 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 was repurposed as a new name for the Times' neighborhood news sections in southern Pinellas County (formerly Neighborhood Times), serving communities from Largo southward.
In 2003, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described the St. Petersburg Times as a "usually liberal" newspaper. The Times has also been a longtime opponent to the Church of Scientology, since the church's acquisition of the Fort Harrison Hotel in 1975. 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.
The newspaper operates PolitiFact.com, a project in which its reporters and editors "fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups with a liberal point of view...." 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" to 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."
|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|
|1964||Pulitzer Prize||Investigation of Florida Turnpike Authority||Martin Waldron and Times staff||Meritorious Public Service||Won|
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