Times tabloid to publish daily starting March 6

The free Tampa Bay Times, also known as tbt*, will have a special pullout on Fridays.

Published February 17, 2006

Times Publishing Co. said Friday it is expanding its free tabloid newspaper Tampa Bay Times, also known as tbt*, from weekly to daily publication starting March 6.

The company, which publishes the St. Petersburg Times, launched the free weekly for young adults in September 2004. Executives said the reader and advertising response encouraged them to increase the frequency to five days a week.

"Since the debut of Tampa Bay Times, readers and advertisers have been enthusiastic with their praise," said Paul Tash, Times chairman, chief executive and editor. "We're ready now to make it available every weekday."

The Times' plans provoked a federal lawsuit from its competitor, the Tampa Tribune, which complained that the name infringes on its trademark for the Tampa Times, an afternoon newspaper that ceased publication in 1982.

The new publication will publish each weekday morning, Monday through Friday, with distribution at hundreds of pickup locations around the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater region.

Tampa Bay Times will include concise versions of the day's local and national news, with an emphasis on sports, consumer features and entertainment.

Other media companies have started similar efforts in New York, Washington, Chicago and Dallas.

Monday through Thursday, the paper will be a 40-page tabloid with circulation of about 40,000 copies.

The Friday edition will be bigger in distribution and pages, with a special entertainment pullout section. Friday's edition will be available all weekend, bringing circulation to more than 60,000.