Documentary memorializes The Tampa Tribune

- The end of The Tampa Tribune building on the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa comes a year to the day since the world came crashing down on Tribune employees, like Erik Erlendsson.

"The bottom fell out in an instant. It was the first time since I was 15 years-old that I didn't have a job. I was told not to come back the next day," says Erlendsson.

The Trib's coin boxes were gathered up, The Tampa Bay Times took over, and the Tribune that was the bedrock of Tampa since the late 1800s died at the age of 123.

"The phone rang, it was my immediate supervisor. He didn't even have to say anything," says Jay Nolan who worked as a photographer for the Tribune for 22 years.

The Tampa Tribune exists now in name only as a supplement to The Tampa Bay Times.

"It takes away their competition," says Nolan. "They don't have to work very hard to beat the other guy anymore."

A year after the Tribune closed, a new documentary film called "Stop The Presses", with footage from inside the paper before its demise, premiers at the Tampa Theatre at 7 p.m.

The filmmaker, Deborah Kerr, whose husband worked for the Tribune, says there was a viable plan to save the Tribune.

"They were going to be successful and it was just taken away," she said Wednesday morning. "There is no doubt in my mind it [The Tribune] could have survived," Kerr said.

She wouldn't give details prior to the premier of the film. To some, the end of the Tribune was about the loss of an institution.

"To me, it was about the people that did great work together. That's the tragedy of this newspaper no longer existing," says Howard Altman, a former Tribune writer who now works for the Tampa Bay Times.

After the rest of the building is demolished, traces of the Tribune will become even rarer.

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