St. Petersburg Times Gets Name Change Jan. 1

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New Year's Eve South Florida Style

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBS4/AP) — It will soon be official.  Florida’s largest newspaper is set to start the new year with a new name.

The St. Petersburg Times will become the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday.

Newspaper officials announced the change in November, saying the new name reflects the newspaper’s growth across the Tampa Bay region.

According to Chairman and CEO Paul Tash, the new name reflects the growth of the newspaper beyond Southern Pinellas County and their vision for the region.

 “Our name no longer fits the newspaper or the audience we serve. Three-fourths of St. Petersburg Times readers live outside St. Petersburg,” said Tash, back in November.

The St. Petersburg-based Poynter Institute for Media Studies remains the paper’s owner. Its free tabloid tbt(asterisk) will remain free and will be published as an edition of the Tampa Bay Times.

The downtown Tampa arena where the Tampa Bay Lightning play hockey also gets a new name. Starting Sunday, the St. Pete Times Forum will be known as the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The arena also will be the site for the 2012 Republican National Convention.

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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