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The ridiculousness of the latest idea from the Tampa Bay Times

in Apolitical/Statewide by

The first edition of the Tampa Bay Times‘ “We-missed-the-boat-on-doing-a-morning-email-so-were-going-to-do-an afternoon-email” hit inboxes this afternoon.

It’s no Politico Playbook and it’s no Sunburn, but undoubtedly there are those who will  think this email is a nice service.

But, really, how ridiculous is this for the Times? This is a newspaper company sending a newsletter email to drive readers to its blog, which is 90 percent made up of stories to be published in the newspaper.

And this is a big deal to the Times; it has had its reporters networking and tweeting about the email’s launch for at least a week.

This is also the Times‘ knee-jerk reaction to former Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo launching his Florida Playbook for POLITICO. But instead of finding one reporter who feels like working before 8 a.m. to launch some sort of must-read agenda setter, the Times’ produced this snoozer.

(By the way, why is this email titled “As hump day winds down…”? Isn’t hump day on Wednesday?)

When I read this email, I think back to what Brian Crowley wrote about my launching of Sunburn.  

Sunburn has what newspapers are clamoring for – advertisers. Politico perfected the idea. It was just sitting there waiting for another news organization to offer its own state version. None did. Schorsch grabbed it.”

That was two years ago. It’s taken the Times that long to puke up this dog’s breakfast.

Not that their print product has been stellar as of late. Clearly, all of the staff departures are taking a toll on the newspaper. Need proof? Just look at yesterday’s front page, which had two stories from The Washington Post, one from The New York Times and a non-news PunditFact piece.

No wonder there is increased scrutiny about what will happen to the Times.

times email

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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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