After years of steady readership growth, St. Petersburg-based Tampa Bay Times has edged out the Tampa Tribune as the most popular paper on both sides of Tampa Bay.
According to a new report by independent research firm Scarborough, for the first time the Times is now the leading paper in Hillsborough County with 148,000 daily readers, compared to 146,500 for the Tribune. Readership in Hillsborough has grown 41 percent in five years, the October report shows, while Tribune readership had dropped 44 percent.
“We have long been Tampa Bay’s favorite newspaper,” said Times vice president and Tampa publisher Joe DeLuca. “Now, we also are Hillsborough County’s favorite.”
Not included in the Times readership numbers is the daily tabloid tbt*, designed and edited for a younger demographic.
Although the Times is undergoing solid growth in Hillsborough, its account of the Scarborough report is clearly incomplete, says Tribune managing editor Ken Koehn.
“One statistic they left out,” Koehn said in an email, “is the Tribune’s large lead in Sunday readership in Hillsborough.”
Citing numbers from the same report, Koehn pointed out that as for Sunday newspaper readership, the Tribune has 304,825 readers, with a 30.4% reach. In comparison, Tampa Bay Times has 215,510 readers, with only a 21.5% reach.