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The (Tampa Bay) Times They Are A Changin’-update

Original November 11 post:

The Tampa Bay Times has announced some changes coming,
shrinking the hard copy and expanding the e-edition.
(Surely there will be a corresponding decrease in the print price.)

Starting Friday, we’re introducing changes to the Tampa Bay Times. These changes keep the focus on our primary mission: delivering first-rate local coverage and investigative reporting. Here’s what to expect:

We are packing more fun into our Sunday comics section and giving it a new name: Fun & Games. This section combines comics, games and puzzles — including some new ones. The new features include Kakuro, Trivia, Kriss Kross and Word Wheel.

Several of our current comics are moving to the e-Newspaper bonus page [emphasis added], and we are adding more comics there. The combination gives us a bigger lineup than we publish now.

Here is the Times article listing all the changes.

Our friend in the area, Jimmy Delach, has access to the Tampa Bay Times e-edition where they announced which comic strips are being dropped from the printed newspaper and moved to the online newspaper:

Hagar The Horrible
For Better or For Worse
Mother Goose & Grimm
Breaking Cat News
Pajama Diaries
Dog Eat Doug
Reality Check


Updated November 18

Jimmy Delach gives us the line-up of the new “Fun and Games” Sunday section:

Page 1:
Baby Blues, Fox Trot, Curtis. Baldo, Garfield

Page 2:
Los Angeles Times Crossword, The Family Circus, Bridge, The Last Word In Astrology,
Jumble, Wonderword, Hocus-Focus, Universal Sudoku

Page 3:
Pearls Before Swine, Sherman’s Lagoon, Classic Peanuts, Sally Forth, Luann, Doonesbury

Page 4:
Kakuro, Stan James Crossword, Random Trivia, Scrabble Grams, Kriss Kross,
Cryptoquip, Jumble Crossword

Page 5:
Rose Is Rose, Pickles, Big Nate, Macanudo, Zits, Red And Rover

Page 6:
Dilbert, Bizarro, Jump Start, Arlo & Janis, The Duplex, The Argyle Sweater, Rubes,
Stone Soup, Rhymes With Orange, Puzzle Answers


And the shuffling:

Gone entirely:
Buckles, F-Minus, Frank & Ernest, The Flying McCoys, Hi & Lois, Mutts

Moved to E-paper:
Beetle Bailey, Blondie, Breaking Cat News, Dennis The Menace, Dog Eat Doug,
For Better Or For Worse, Hagar The Horrible, Cornered, Marmaduke,
Mother Goose & Grimm, Pajama Diaries, Reality Check, Shoe

New to E-paper
Diamond Lil, Nancy, One Big Happy, Speed Bump, The Other Coast, Wallace The Brave


Jimmy has kindly posted a link to view or download the new, “improved” section.


From the Comics Kingdom Twitter feed:


Update: November 22, 2019:

The Tampa Bay Times has returned local talent Dean Young (Blondie) to the print edition of the newspaper. In a column that starts on page one Executive Editor Mark Katches acknowledges the tidal wave of protests to the paper’s recent changes.

above: November 22, 2019 Tampa Bay Times via Newseum

Before the jump to an inside page the editor does mention that the Blondie comic strip, whose production headquarters is just across The Bay, will be returning.

While we here are comic-centric, it was the puzzle fanatics that had the louder voice:

Thank you for your feedback. We have heard you. And we’re making some adjustments.

The Thomas Joseph crossword puzzle – which by far was the biggest sore spot for readers –returns today to the BayLink section, where it will run Monday through Saturday.

Also starting Friday, we’re bringing back Blondie, the iconic comic strip penned by Clearwater resident Dean Young. Dagwood, Blondie and the rest of the cast return to the comics pages where the strip will appear daily.

In the online version of the story the return of the crossword puzzle gets the headline, Blondie, along with the crossword again, gets into the sub head.

Jimmy Delach reports (see comments) that another King Features strip, Rhymes With Orange, will get the (print) boot to make room for the returning Blondie.

Editor Katches does make note of the cost of the syndicated features:

Some readers have asked why we did any of this. Let me take a moment to explain our thinking: These are challenging times for local news operations. We’ve been spending roughly $250,000 every year just on comics, games and puzzles.

To be fair to the Tampa Bay Times – when they acquired The Tampa Tribune a few years ago the Times continued running all of their own and The Tribune’s syndicated content; making it a paper with an abundance of syndicate features.

Community Comments

#1 Jimmy Delach
@ 10:01 am

Some updates on the recent comics changes…

Moving from traditional paper to e-Paper: Beetle Bailey (it was never mentioned among the other strips moving)

New (e-Paper): Diamond Lil, Nancy (had a brief stint replacing “Non Sequitur” earlier this year), One Big Happy, The Other Coast, Wallace The Brave. Also the Daily “Marmaduke” strip was added after being dropped last year.

Gone entirely: Buckles, Shoe

#2 Nancy phillips
@ 7:35 am

Sports news is put on the front page. News about Trump is printed all thru the paper and we cant even enjoy our comics??? I don’t want to log on to a electronic device to read what i want to. This is why i subscribe to the newspaper!

#3 Bridget Austin
@ 1:17 pm

Will miss “For Better Or Worse”.

#4 Charlene Long
@ 5:24 pm

This change is not good for seniors who want to read the comics with their coffee! Some don’t have computers! The printing needs to be larger. I miss Pjama Diaries and For Better or For Worse! And Blondie! Your phone number doesn’t work!

#5 Gunther Fick
@ 8:40 am

We sure miss the removal of many of our favorite cartoons !
Luan,Buckles,Blondie,Shoe. !!

#6 Jimmy Delach
@ 6:14 am

Update: Today the Times brought “Blondie” back to their traditional paper with “Rhymes With Orange” being moved to the e-Edition. “Blondie” will also return to the traditional Sunday paper on 12/1, presumably with “Rhymes With Orange” also being moved to the e-Paper.

#7 Nancy Wright
@ 6:58 pm

Why did we not get comics in our paper today ?

#8 D. D. Degg
@ 8:32 pm

Nancy, I think your paper was an exception. You may want to contact Tampa Bay Times customer service by e-mail: or by phone: 1-800-888-7012

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