Tribune owners purchase Clearwater Gazette
The new owners of The Tampa Tribune are continuing their drive to acquire news publications across the Tampa Bay region, this time by purchasing the Clearwater Gazette.
That makes three separate publications in Pinellas County under the umbrella of Revolution Capital Group, which in October created Tampa Media Group to purchase the Tribune and other media properties, including TBO.com and the Spanish-language weekly CENTRO.
“For six decades, Clearwater Gazette has been an influential and important voice in the community,” said Gary Alcock, managing director of Revolution Capital Group. “We're impressed with the quality of the publication put together by the owners, Chuck and Sandy Pollick.”
The Clearwater Gazette is a weekly newspaper with a circulation of about 15,000. It is distributed in Clearwater, Dunedin, Largo, Belleair, Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs, Belleair Shore and Indian Rocks Beach.
"We see tremendous value in news publications like the Clearwater Gazette and this deal won't be the last in the region," said Cyrus Nikou, founding partner of Revolution Capital Group. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
This purchase follows other moves to expand into Pinellas. In January, the Tribune's owners launched the St. Petersburg Tribune and re-established a bureau of editors, reporters and photographers in Pinellas to cover news across the county.
In addition, Tampa Media Group operates the Suncoast News publications, which are twice-weekly newspapers distributed to 115,000 households in west Pasco and north Pinellas counties.
“The Tampa Media Group's mission is to connect and strengthen communities,” said William R. Barker, president and publisher of the Tribune. “We are very pleased to add the Clearwater Gazette to our Tribune family of products. It joins the more than 117-year-old Tampa Tribune and the leading website in Tampa Bay, TBO.com.
“The Gazette is a perfect complement to our St. Petersburg Tribune as well. We look forward to better serving our new and existing readers with expanded coverage while working to strengthen the business community of Clearwater,” Barker said.
Revolution officials say they will continue to look for other media properties to acquire.
“The game has changed,” said Robert Loring, founder and managing partner of Revolution Capital. “The Tampa Tribune is now an agile, entrepreneurial firm. We are growing, partnering with businesses and actively looking for new acquisitions.”
Loring said the Tribune and other properties owned by Tampa Media Group will make aggressive moves to expand.
“We don't sit back on our heels,” Loring said. “The Tribune is now a progressive, enterprising business backed by a firm that is making change and investing in the future of this community. We will continue to evolve and create and acquire.”
Investing legend Warren Buffett is making similar moves, including purchasing the daily paper in his hometown of Omaha, Neb., and 60-plus daily and regional weekly papers from Media General, the former owner of the Tribune.
Video: Food Network star Alton Brown tries Tampa's cuban sandwiches, says they weren't 'what I expected'