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Plant City Observer Thursday, Apr. 7, 2016 2 years ago

Readers benefit again from changes

As one of the owners of the Plant City Times & Observer, I am proud of the job we have done since June 2012.

Once again, the Plant City Times & Observer has made changes in the way we gather hyperlocal news to benefit the residents of the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.    We began publishing in a beautiful suite, owned and remodeled by one of our owners, in the heart of our Historic District. That location gave us an instant high profile in the historic heart of Plant City.  

We soon began to make changes to further strengthen our position in that market and to continue to publish a high quality product. Our partial merger with the Tampa Bay Times strengthened our ability to sell advertising and allowed us to share production costs. The new title, the Plant City Times & Observer, did not hurt either!

We also found partnered with In the Field magazine. 

With that change came some staff growth, and we found that the suite at 110 E. Reynolds Street no longer met our space needs.  

So we began to consider other changes we could make which would enhance our product and meet our space needs. 

In the Field has been publishing for about a decade, covering the agricultural scene of the central Florida. Partnering with In the Field allowed discussions to take place about how we could work together for the benefit of both our publications and our readers.

The first great idea that emerged was the idea of combining the offices of our two publications. We found  an office in southwest Plant City, highly visible on Alexander Street, which accommodates our combined staffs much better than the downtown office.  

This move not only provided an instant solution to our space challenge, but having the staff of both publications in the same office suite facilitated deeper communication about further areas of cooperation. You can expect to see evidence of more ways our two publications are cooperating for our readers’ benefit.  

These changes in almost four years of operation are not unique in journalism. Bay News 9 News co-produces many area stories with partners such as the Tampa Bay Times and the Lakeland Ledger. Rather than continuing to print its newspaper on the press it owns, the Tampa Tribune recently announced it would begin outsourcing the printing of its newspaper to the Tampa Bay Times.    

But some things have not changed at the Plant City Times & Observer, and they will not. 

Our goal of giving you the best of hyperlocal news coverage continues. We continue to be based in Plant City, where we can hear from you about local stories we should cover. And we have moved the great historic photos, which we displayed at 110 E. Reynolds St., to our new office. 

We hope you continue to enjoy reading both the Plant City Times & Observer and In the Field. Please keep local story ideas flowing.  

Felix Haynes is a co-owner of the Plant City Times & Observer.

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