Soft-launched in April 2020, at the COVID-19 growth cycle, The Free Press continues its digital growth with reach in 43 countries, and primary reach in the Tampa DMA at 97%.

While newspapers from around the country are evolving and changing to meet the needs of the ever-changing audience, The Free Press, headquartered in Hillsborough County Florida, is working for today and building for tomorrow.

A completely digital platform that focuses on issues of today, law enforcement, local news, national news, and technology, The Free Press captures a younger audience where that audience is focused.

Advertisers will benefit from being on the ground floor of new advances in this space and we look forward to working with them to help their businesses grow. We will be updating via press releases, our launches of new advances in digital mobile.

Owner and Publisher Brian Burns

Former Publisher of The Tampa Tribune, Brian has over 18 years in the publishing business. Starting his career with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in the early 2000s, Brian worked his way to become the VP of Digital for North Jersey Media Group with the Record and Herald News in Bergen County New Jersey.

Brian took over as Publisher for the Tampa Tribune in 2013 and stayed in that role until the sale of the company to the Times in 2016. In early 2017, Brian took over the role as Publisher for Gannett’s The Ledger and News Chief in Polk County until late 2019 when he left to start his own venture.

Brian has a strong track record of increasing geographic reach, market penetration, revenues, and developing new technologies to create profit centers.

SportsRock Riley

Rock Riley started working with The Free Press covering sports, namely The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 2021.

In college, Jersey-born Rock Riley majored in communications but says he never set foot in a radio or TV studio while in school. His first on-air job, covering high school football for a local cable company, settled any doubts he may have had about what kind of career he wanted. It was definitely going to be sports broadcasting. He’s attended William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ, and then St. Leo College after relocating to Florida.  

In 1997, he became the weekend TV host of “The Sports Connection” on Bright House cable’s Bay News 9 and was later promoted to weekday anchor two years later. His Tampa Bay radio stints include work on WFLA, WDAE, and 98.7The Fan WHFS.  

Rock has been a national sports reporter covering Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies and the All Star Game, the NBA finals, and numerous Super Bowls. One, in particular, stands out – Super Bowl XXXVII, the Tampa Bay Bucs’ win in 2003. 

Riley exited the cable network in December 2016 and returned to radio July 3, 2017, as the afternoon drive host for sports/talk WHBO AM-1040 The Team.

SportsTom Layberger

Since getting his start as a freelance writer at the St. Petersburg Times in 1990, Tom has worked for Beckett Publishing, The Topps Company, the Versus Network, and the NBC Sports Network. 

In addition to writing for the The Free Press, the University of South Florida grad and Tampa resident contributes to forbes.com and Tampa Bay Business & Wealth Magazine.  

AgricultureBrad Buck, University Of Florida UF/IFAS

PoliticsLiam Edgar

Courts and BusinessDeborah Childress

Deborah Childress has served as Legal News Journalist for The Free Press – Tampa since April 2020. She is the former Chief Writer for the “Business and Industry” feature of The Tampa Tribune, former freelance business writer for the Jacksonville Business Journal and Orlando Business Journal, and a writer featured in Bright Dark Nights of the Soul, a biographical recount of an East Kenyan scholar and refugee showcased in the Vatican library, Rome, Italy and sold through e-bookstores.

Local News

Copy Desk And Breaking News

News Service Of Florida

Jim Saunders, j.saunders@newsserviceflorida.com

Jim has been executive editor of the News Service since 2013 and has covered state government and politics in Florida since 1998. Jim came to the News Service in 2011 after stints as Tallahassee bureau chief for The Florida Times-Union, The Daytona Beach News-Journal and Health News Florida. He moved to Florida in 1990 and worked eight years for the Times-Union in Jacksonville and St. Johns County. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he graduated from Northwestern University and worked at The Blade newspaper in Toledo, Ohio, before moving to the Times-Union. Jim enjoys covering legal and regulatory issues and has extensive experience in covering health care.

Dara Kam, d.kam@newsserviceflorida.com

Dara Kam has spent more than two decades reporting on Florida government, politics and courts for the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group, Gannett Co., the Palm Beach Post and the Associated Press, where she was part of the award-winning team covering the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election. Kam’s body of work includes coverage of presidential, gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, congressional, state Cabinet and legislative races. She has provided complex and in-depth coverage of the death penalty, including detailed analyses of state and national court decisions regarding capital punishment, as well as stories that bring home to readers the emotions involved in executions. She has written extensively about gambling, medical marijuana, state government, guns, prisons, same-sex marriage, and has more than a decade of experience covering state and federal court decisions. Kam joined the News Service of Florida as senior writer in 2013.

Jim Turner, j.turner@newsserviceflorida.com

Jim Turner is a Capitol reporter for the News Service of Florida, providing coverage on issues ranging from transportation and the environment to Legislative and Cabinet politics, which are some of the areas he worked in 20 years with TCPalm in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Jim grew up in Millburn, New Jersey, where he started his journalism career providing weekly reports on the high school soccer team — of which he was a member— to the local Millburn Item. Jim received degrees in journalism and history from High Point University in North Carolina.

Ryan Dailey, r.dailey@newsserviceflorida.com

Ryan Dailey is a reporter with experience in print and radio, having covered state and local news in Tallahassee since 2014. A graduate of Florida State University, Dailey has been a resident of the capital city since 2012. He joined the News Service of Florida in 2021, reporting with a focus on education and education policy.

Tom Urban, t.urban@newsserviceflorida.com

Tom has been a multimedia reporter for the News Service of Florida since 2013, and he has covered Florida state government and politics for more than 15 years. He worked for commercial television stations in Omaha, NE and Fort Myers, FL before moving the Florida’s capital city. Some of his most memorable assignments include coverage of the BP oil spill, Hurricane Katrina and the Bush, Crist and Scott administrations. Originally from a family farm in South Dakota, Tom graduated from Dana College with degrees in Communications and Business Administration.

Contact Sales Staff:

Joe Cleary is an experienced sales professional with over 17 years of accomplishments focused on leadership, achieving growth, building partnerships, and exceeding expectations.

Currently the SVP of The Free Press-Tampa, where he focuses on developing and executing effective media campaigns using integrated marketing across the site. Responsible for managing, measuring, and optimizing advertiser relationships. Constantly focused on customer retention and he strives to increase year-over-year growth with each customer.

Cleary spent over a decade selling and managing local media campaigns including digital, mobile, and print for the Tampa Tribune and TBO.com where he left as the Director of Sales when the company was acquired and closed. As the Director of Sales, he oversaw a team where he built, monitored, and coached sales professionals to achieve hearty sales goals. His sales experience stretches beyond media, having recently spent three years in Facility Management at the National/Commercial level. Cleary is an unmatched Sales Executive with strong leadership abilities and is committed to achieving sales quotas to drive the growth of the company.

Advertising Inquiries or Commentsadmin@tampafp.com

PHONE: 813-279-1480

Mailing Address:

PO BOX 727

Land O’ Lakes, FL. 34639