Monday, December 15, 2008

Tampa Tribune blames St. Petersburg Times for shutdown ‘lie’

The Tampa Tribune went on the offensive Sunday, blaming a rumor the newspaper would cease print operations and move to an online-only format on its competitor, The St. Petersburg Times.

Janet Coats and Denise Palmer, the Media General Inc. paper’s executive editor and publisher, told readers in a letter published in the Tribune’s Sunday edition that a report in The Tallahassee Democrat about a possible move to the Internet after the Super Bowl was wrong, and they demanded a correction.

Making the situation worse were subscription solicitation crews for the St. Petersburg Times, the two said, who “spread rumors” that the Tribune was closing in January.

“We have asked the Times to stop the solicitors from spreading this lie,” Coats and Palmer said in their letter.

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