Various bizarre items regarding the Tampa Tribune, which began daily publication in 1895 as the Tampa Morning Tribune:

  • The Tribune bought their afternoon rival, the Tampa Times, in 1958 and eventually started publishing a combined Sunday edition. Although the last Tampa Times was published in 1982 (replaced briefly by "The Tampa Tribune P.M."), the Sunday Tampa Tribune is still "The Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Times." This is to keep the trademark alive so the St. Petersburg Times can't use it as the name of their Tampa edition.
  • For similar reasons, the name of the Friday entertainment section mysteriously changed from "Friday Extra!" to "Tampa Bay Times" at one point, then after about a year, changed back to "Friday Extra!" with "Tampa Bay Times" in a small box on the front cover.
  • In April 1987, became one of the first newspapers to colorize most of their daily comic strips. They also seem to feel that some of their comic strips are obligatory because the cartoonists responsible live in the Tampa Bay area, such as "Blondie," "Hi and Lois," and especially "Snuffy Smith" (although Fred Lasswell died in 2001). That said, their Sunday comics section, which has stayed at eight pages while most newspapers have shrunk theirs to six, is very good and contains several strips that should be running daily.
  • Also featured on the comics page for a couple of years starting in 1995 was "Tribune Toon," a locally oriented, exclusive strip drawn by Duck Edwing of MAD fame. It was the worst comic strip ever.
  • In the late 1970s, the entertainment section was called "Part IV," presumably because it was supposed to be the fourth section of the paper. Eventually, someone noticed that the rest of the paper (front section, Metro, Business, and Sports) was already four sections, and Part IV was renamed "BayLife."
  • Whereas most newspapers refer to their sections by letter or number, the Tampa Tribune dropped that practice around 1990; this means that their page numbers look like "Nation/World-4" or "Florida/Metro-7."
  • Has changed its headline font three times since 1990, twice in conjunction with a redesign of the entire paper.
  • Presented the daily TV listings in a vertical 24-hour grid until the mid-1990s. Because new over the air channels kept going on the air in the Tampa Bay area, by the late 1980s, the titles of most TV shows had to be abbreviated to near unrecognizability. The listings once made "True Facts" in National Lampoon when "French" was listed at 7:00, with "Yourself" under it at 7:30.
  • In the late 1980s, attempted to compete with Weekly Planet (then known as Creative Loafing) by producing a separate glossy weekly magazine called "The Big Guava" while not actually admitting to being the publisher; everyone loved it the first week when it was a giveaway, but then they tried to charge for it.
  • Has a horrible web site, with articles consistently showing up twice or three times or with the wrong date, formatting marks in the middle of articles, an insistence on large versions of photographs being presented as Flash slideshows, and so on.

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