Tampa Tribune President and Publisher William Barker announced will leave the daily for a position at the Naples Daily News.
“This has been a difficult decision,” Barker told Tribune employees Wednesday in a statement to employees.
“It was not an opportunity I sought, but rather one that when presented to me,” Barker added. “I weighed carefully and found to be a good fit in terms of long term goals and opportunities for my career and my family. While I love The Tampa Tribune and all who work to make it the quality newspaper it is, I realize its success is not contingent upon me as its leader. However, the success of my family is.”
Barker leaves after nine years with the Tribune, most recently in charge of all departments at the paper—news, advertising, printing and distribution. He was also instrumental in the launch of the St. Petersburg Tribune and the addition of the Clearwater Gazette, two papers serving Pinellas County.
The 50-year-old Barker spent most of his career in the newspaper industry, becoming the Tribune’s publisher in 2012. He remained at the paper after Media General sold operations to the private equity group Revolution Capital in October 2012.
Naples Daily News — the leading newspaper in the region — is part of the E.W. Scripps company.
The Naples Daily News is owned by the E.W. Scripps company and is the dominant newspaper in the highly affluent region. The Tribune will now conduct a search for a new publisher to head operations.