Tallahassee Democrat to launch new political magazine

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

The Tallahassee Democrat, the 110-year-old newspaper of record in Florida’s capital, announced it is launching a new political supplement to coincide with the 2016 Legislative Session.

The first issue of “Capital Impact” should be out the day before session — Monday, Jan. 11 — with a 10,000-copy run that will be delivered to all lawmakers and lobby shops, law firms and other businesses, including hotels and restaurants, Democrat Executive Editor William Hatfield said.

“In the third largest state in the nation, there’s plenty of influence to go around,” he said in a statement to FloridaPolitics.com.

“The Democrat was honored to be a distribution partner and hand-deliver thousands of copies of INFLUENCE magazine (this website’s sister print publication) to our readers,” Hatfield said. “The Democrat’s new Capital Impact represents our continued commitment to covering the seat of power.”

The newspaper has been actively marketing the new magazine to potential local advertisers, including lobbyists, according to one who shared a promotional email received from the Democrat’s sales team.

For example, a full-color, full-page ad can be had for $3,975, according to the email. The back page goes for $4,869, and the center-spread costs $9,937.

When asked how frequently the new product will come out and in what form, newsprint tabloid or glossy magazine, Hatfield said, “All will be revealed later.”

The publication will include contributions from “some of the best writers in Florida,” such as veteran statehouse reporter Bill Cotterell and ContextFlorida contributor Diane Roberts, as well as Democrat staffers Jeff Burlew and James Call, and former Democrat writer Kati Schardl.

According to the email, stories will include “influence of national election on state politics,” “after-hours watering holes — fly-on-wall spots to see and be seen” and “people behind the PACs (political fundraising committees).”

Another feature promises a “collection of anecdotes from retirees that can now be told.” There will also be “a comprehensive list of all legislators and their aides.”

The Democrat is owned by Gannett, which acquired the paper in a 2005 swap that involved several other properties with the now-defunct Knight Ridder chain.

Other Gannett papers in Florida include the Pensacola News Journal, the Fort Myers News-Press, and Florida Today.

The nation’s biggest newspaper publisher will soon add other Florida papers to its portfolio with its $280 million purchase of Journal Media Group.

Those papers are The Naples Daily News, and The Stuart News, Indian River Press Journal and St. Lucie News-Tribune along the state’s Treasure Coast.

Disclosure: Florida Politics capital correspondent Jim Rosica was a staff writer for the Democrat under Knight Ridder from 1997-2005 and for the News-Tribune under Freedom Communications in 1995-97. 

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.