Tampa Tribune’s Hernando Today to stop publishing at the end of this month

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More cuts are happening in the land of Tampa Bay daily newspapers. The Tampa Tribune announced last week they will cease operation of Hernando Today, an off-shoot of the Tribune that has served the Brooksville area for three decades.

Ken Koehn, managing editor for the Tribune, attributed the closure to a tough advertising climate and described the local paper’s production as “cost-productive” in a self-penned article appearing in the Hernando Today.

“We cherish our role of serving the Hernando community, which made this an extremely difficult decision,’’ Koehn said. “But like many newspapers across the country, we are streamlining operations to make our core products financially successful.’’

The last publication will hit doorsteps November 30. The paper will also cut off the website.

Hernando Today subscribers will be transitioned to a Thursday-Sunday Tribune subscription automatically. That begins December 4. Subscribers also have the option to subscribe to a discounted subscription if they choose. That option can be chosen by contacting Tampa Tribune reader services.

The closure follows a history of troubles for the Tampa Tribune. The paper was sold by Virginia-based Media General in 2012 for less than market cost. Almost immediately following the sale, employees were given the option of taking a severance package or suffer pay cuts.

The Tampa Tribune isn’t the only paper in the area struggling to stay afloat. The Tampa Bay Times has also recently lost a number of experienced reporters to an optional buy out. The Times has closed several of its buildings and bureaus as well.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.