A message to our readers about the direction forward

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Last year, we were fortunate enough to acquire the FloridaPolitics.com domain. Since that time, we have wrestled with how to best position SaintPetersBlog while eventually making Florida Politics our dominant brand.

This sort of reminds me of the dilemma my grandfather and his colleagues at Anheuser-Busch must have once faced. What do you do with Budweiser — the beer you are known for — when Bud Light becomes just as popular?

Just as there is more than enough room in the supermarket for Bud and Bud Light, so is there plenty of bandwidth in our fledgling media empire for SaintPetersBlog.com and FloridaPolitics.com.

As you may have noticed, we recently made some improvements to SaintPetersBlog.com and are revamping FloridaPolitics.com in order to better position each individual site, while limiting content cross-over and audience cannibalization.

To that end, we are moving the “Bay and the Burg” category into a more prominent role, while combining the “Legislative” and “Statewide” categories into one section.

To better feature the great addition of columnist Gary Shelton, we are spinning off a Sports section out of the Apolitical category.

To take advantage of the unique role Tampa Bay and Florida will play in the presidential race and the upcoming election cycle, we’ve created a category titled 2016, which will feature stories about Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, the U.S. Senate race, and other big-ticket political stories.

Meanwhile, we’re moving away from publishing some of the national stories (mostly written by Associated Press writers) that, while interesting, aren’t why readers come to SaintPetersBlog.

As for FloridaPolitics.com, we are finally ready to make it its own stand-alone site and not just a reiteration of what is first published on SPB.

FP is where you will find much of our coverage of the legislative and influence spheres, as well as in-depth coverage of state government.

FP will also have individualized local sections dedicated to the important political stories out of not just Tampa Bay, but also North Florida/Jacksonville — where reporters A.G. Gankarski and Melissa Ross are redefining the political coverage there.

In the coming months, we hope to undertake a major ramp-up in Central Florida, specifically Orlando, with the hiring of several columnists and bloggers.

To highlight this expanded coverage, we will be making a significant play on social media, with paid promotions on Facebook and Twitter to back the best content.

From my experience, there is no better time than the off-year of a presidential election cycle to experiment with and expand new media concepts and coverage.

While we make these changes, please feel free to offer your feedback about the evolution of our products.

Thank you for your continued readership.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.