With this edition of The Laker, we’re proud to welcome 700 Dade City families to weekly home delivery of our newspaper.
If you live in the downtown area, or in subdivisions south of town along Fort King Road and Clinton Avenue, you most likely found today’s paper in your driveway, and can look forward to receiving it every Wednesday.
In addition to this new home delivery, we’ll continue to distribute 2,000 Lakers every week to 60 newspaper boxes, business locations and public buildings in the Dade City – San Antonio area. In Zephyrhills, we have another 130 outlets and 6,300 papers.
Adding circulation is a big deal in the newspaper world, especially one that represents a 35 percent jump in one community, all in one week. And we do so without hesitation, and with much confidence, because Dade City readers and business leaders have been asking for home delivery of The Laker for some time.
So when The Tampa Tribune stopped publishing so suddenly and unexpectedly in early May, we decided there was no better time than right now to add home delivery in Dade City. With the help of the fine folks at The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, we selected neighborhoods with demographics that matched those of newspaper readers, and decided to take the plunge and add all 700 homes the Chamber was recommending.
Our goal is to fill the void left behind by the closing of The Tampa Tribune, which always had a strong following in east Pasco. Earlier this year, we began to step up our East Pasco news coverage when we hired Kevin Weiss as a full-time reporter assigned to Zephyrhills, Dade City and San Antonio.
Kevin, a 2014 graduate of the University of South Florida, has the enthusiasm, energy and passion about community journalism that make his stories easy to read and understand. He is a talented, hard-working young man I’m proud to employ, and one I hope you have an opportunity to meet.
Joining Kevin in our East Pasco news coverage is Kathy Steele, a seasoned journalist and excellent writer who covers transportation, growth and development, as well as Pasco County government. Kathy joined our staff a year-and-a-half ago after 15 years as a Tampa Tribune reporter.
Our newest journalist whose coverage includes East Pasco is Tom Jackson, another Tampa Tribune veteran who wrote a column about Pasco County politics and people for more than 18 years.
Tom began writing his column for The Laker two weeks after The Tampa Tribune shut down. His knowledge about Pasco County, and his genuine love for its people, passionately pours through his words. You’ll know what I mean if you read Tom’s column last week about the tragic bicycling death of Joe Hancock, a Dade City citrus farmer whose family has lived in Dade City for generations. It was a poignant column that was so well written that it brought me to tears, even though I did not know Joe or his family.
It’s Kevin, Kathy, Tom and editor B.C. Manion, who brings all this talent together, to give you an interesting and relevant news package every week. Their work makes The Laker different from other newspapers in East Pasco.
We give you a broader, county-wide viewpoint that includes news and stories about issues and people throughout central and east Pasco, including Wesley Chapel, Land O’ Lakes and Lutz.
People in Dade City and Zephyrhills are a vital part of this larger Pasco community. It’s where you shop, work, attend school, meet friends for dinner or drinks, go to movies, practice your faith, and visit family and friends.
Because your interests go beyond the town limits of Dade City and Zephyrhills, The Laker will continue to bring you stories about this larger, vibrant community where we make our lives.
Published June 15, 2016