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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 4 years ago

Observer publication changes its name


For 16 years, many readers had no idea the newspapers were related — the East County Observer and Gulf Coast Business Review. The same company — Observer Media Group Inc. — published them. But reporters for the Gulf Coast Business Review often explained to their new sources: “You know ... we’re part of the Observers.”

On Friday, Jan. 18, the Gulf Coast Business Review will join the Observer Media Group family in name — changing its namesake flag to the Business Observer.

“It makes sense to put all our publications under one brand,” said Matt Walsh, CEO of Observer Media Group.

In addition to the Business Review, the company publishes the Longboat Observer, East County Observer, Pelican Press and Sarasota Observer in Greater Sarasota; and the Plant City Observer, Palm Coast Observer and Ormond Beach Observer.

The Business Review serves paid subscribers who extend from Tampa Bay to Naples.

Walsh said adopting the Business Observer name also will help differentiate the publication from others with similar names tied to the “Gulf Coast.”

“The words ‘Gulf Coast’ mean something different depending where you live,” Walsh said. “Our new name finally will eliminate that confusion.”

Accompanying the new name are a redesign of the paper, a new branding campaign and, soon, a redesigned website. The paper’s website URL also will change — from to

The branding campaign highlights the paper’s continued focus of providing news for business leaders, or what it refers to as “the C-Suite” to its subscription-only base. That content includes stories on CEOs, entrepreneurs, companies and trends that affect Southwest Florida. “Our focus is on getting the most relevant and compelling information to those who make decisions in business,” Walsh said.

“The important thing is, even though the name is changing, our content and goal haven’t,” Walsh said. “We will continue to provide our readers with the most authoritative news and information business leaders on the west coast of Florida need to know.”

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