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No surprises from local newspapers: St. Pete Times plans to syndicate PolitiFact, Tribune sees ad revenues firming

in The Bay and the 'Burg by
Two blurbs about the local newspapers come as no surprise. First, The St. Petersburg Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact project is reportedly about to announce a syndication deal with several newspapers.

Politico.com reports that the fact-checking site, which drew accolades for its work during the 2008 campaign — as well as the 2009 Pulitzer for national reporting — has continued to demonstrate its fact-checking skills well beyond the presidential race.

“The intensity of the campaign really didn’t end,” Times Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief Bill Adair told Politico. Read the whole story here.

Secondly, the Tampa Tribune’s parent company Media General Inc. joined the chorus of newspaper publishers telling the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City that they see the long drought of advertising spending beginning to break.

“Advertiser spending patterns have firmed in the fourth quarter,” Media General CEO Marshall N. Morton said. Total revenue for the broadcast station owner and publisher of The Tampa Tribune and 20 other dailies likely will be down 14% to 16% for the fourth quarter, he added. But Morton noted this quarter’s results face tough comparables with last year’s presidential election period, and that the decline shows a lessening from the 18% decline in Q3.

“On the newspaper side, we’ve seen positive signs with local [auto] dealers in some markets, including Tampa and Richmond,” Morton said. “Within the classified category, auto has been declining at a much lower rate than employment or real estate. The preprints placed in our newspapers over the Thanksgiving holiday met or exceeded last year’s levels in several markets, and this has continued. Read the whole story here.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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