sft-soflolive_web.jpgThe South Florida Times has completed its second major expansion, publisher Robert G. Beatty, Esq. announced on March 1.

Today, on March 5, the paper will hit newsstands with its newest stand-alone section, SoFlo LIVE, a lifestyles magazine, helping to bring the paper’s page count immediately up from 12 to 24.

Since Beatty bought the paper on April 14, 2007, he has changed the name from county-specific Broward Times to reflect the paper’s tri-county circulation and news focus.

Other major milestones include more than doubling circulation to 26,000, and making the paper available in most major grocery stores, such as Publix, Winn-Dixie, Walmart and newsstands.

The paper continues on an upward trajectory.

“Right now, as we speak, there are more expansion plans in the works,” Beatty said.

He said he is humbled by the outstanding loyalty shown by readers and advertisers. In an economy where newspapers are losing circulation, reducing page counts and jettisoning staff, the South Florida Times is doing the opposite. The paper, which grew out of a six-person staff, has added personnel to its editing, graphics and sales teams, as well as a bevy of dedicated contract and freelance talent.

Michele Green, whose role is to develop and implement the company's local, national, classified and online advertising business, said her almost three years at the company have not actually felt like work.

She likens the experience to watching a baby’s progress, and the joys that come from its successes.

“It feels like being at home, and has been and continues to be one of my most rewarding experiences,” Green said of her tenure. “Being a part of elevating the dialogue in our community and being afforded the opportunity to think outside of the box to create a brand that people have grown to love keeps me motivated to do more every day.”

Growth has been the goal from the beginning.

“The hallmark of our staff meetings is managing change, change in regards to growth,” Beatty said. “The challenge we face every single week is how to efficiently manage our growth.”

But the goal to provide premiere investigative and compelling content for readers remains the same, whether via SFLTimes.com or South Florida Times TV, available on the website.

“We have always maintained a robust website, which is in a constant state of evolution,” Beatty said.  “One can literally purchase our paper from anywhere in the world, and it is being purchased.”

Keeping an eye on expenses, Beatty said, the paper can afford its expansion benchmarks.

“Revenues have increased,” Beatty said. “The paper is making money. Those are indicators in our business.  In this challenging marketplace, we have been blessed by God phenomenally.”

The weekly print edition can be purchased for 50 cents.

Today, when the South Florida Times debuts at 24 pages, including its eight-page lifestyle section and expanded news sections, Beatty said he hopes he doesn’t explode with excitement.

“None of this would be possible without readers’ demonstrated allegiance to our paper,” Beatty said. “Our advertisers tell us the quality of our product is superior, and the people who work at South Florida Times are simply second to none, and I applaud their constant focus on providing superior products across all platforms.”