U.S. newspapers in critical danger. Where Tampa Bay's papers stand
Newspapers are dying out faster than expected.
What's happening: So many local papers shuttered this year that analysts now believe the U.S. will have lost one-third of the newspapers it had as of 2005 by the end of next year.
- Analysts originally predicted this would happen in 2025.
Why it matters: Most communities that lose a local newspaper usually do not get a replacement, even online.
By the numbers: There are roughly 6,000 newspapers left in the U.S., down from 8,891 in 2005, according to a new report from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.
- Over the past two years, they vanished at an average rate of more than two per week.
- A majority of the surviving papers (4,790) publish weekly, not daily.
Zoom in: Tampa Bay has a relatively thriving newspaper scene, but print journalists are still on edge.
- Several area papers are owned by large media companies that have been unstable. The Bradenton Herald is run by McClatchy, which also owns The Miami Herald. The Sarasota-Herald Tribune and the Ledger are owned by Gannett.
The Tampa Bay Times is owned by Poynter, a media nonprofit that also owns Politifact.
- The paper has seen turbulence in the years since purchasing the Tampa Tribune. A few employees were laid off in February, the first layoffs in three years and since longtime chairman and CEO Paul Tash stepped down last July.
Creative Loafing, an alt-weekly, has changed ownership hands several times over the years. The Cleveland-based company that bought it in 2018 was purchased by a San Antonio-based company in August.
Other small papers include The Gabber, which claims to be Florida's oldest independent weekly newspaper; Watermark, a bi-weekly LGBTQ newspaper; La Gaceta, a tri-lingual weekly newspaper based in Ybor; and The Laker/Lutz News, two free weeklies delivered to homes in Pasco and Hillsborough counties.
Editor's note: This story was corrected to reflect that Paul Tash stepped down as chairman and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times last July, not last January.
More Tampa Bay stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.