Fix it? Sell it?


The popularity of HGTV's ubiquitous "Love It or List It" series sparked an idea for Tampa Bay Newspapers Publisher Dan Autrey and his staff earlier in the summer. Instead of the regular fodder found in home or real estate sections, Tampa Bay Newspapers created "Fix It or Sell It?," a special section to help readers decide whether to improve their homes or to put them on the market.

"Home improvement sections flamed out a long time ago, but this was a new take on the topic," says Autrey. "We really localized it and made it unique."

The 28-page tab section included articles about navigating the maze of home buying, staging a home for selling and making improvements to add value to a home. Editorial content also offered money-saving ideas as well as articles about buying versus renting.

"Summer tends to be slow, but this section created some excitement and did pretty well for a mid-year section," says Autrey. "It also allowed us to go after non-traditional advertisers."

"Fix It or Sell It?" was a full run with 104,000 copies inserted in five community newspapers owned by Tampa Bay Newspapers.

To see editorial content from "Fix It or Sell It", visit

Does your newspaper have a good idea for a special section? If so, send a brief description to Cindy Durham at

Mary Ann DeSantis is a freelance writer and former SNPA staff member.  She can be reached at

Tampa, real estate
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