The Florida Media Association is an association representing publishers of free-circulation community papers reaching approximately 1.18 million homes and 2.35 million readers weekly.
Our members are owners, publishers, general managers and sales managers of free-circulation community newspapers and shoppers throughout the state of Florida.
Membership ranges from small, independently-owned publications with circulations under 5,000, to free paper/shopping guide divisions of major communications companies publishing hundreds of thousands of copies weekly. The common denominator among members is that each publication is distributed free of charge to the market it serves.
Free papers were practically unheard of until the latter part of the 20th century. But as free papers began springing up in the Sunshine State, the idea of an association to represent them was born. The exact date is unknown, as records were either lost or simply not kept; so that part of the association’s history is subject to change depending on who’s telling it.
What we do know is that for roughly 35 years prior to its official organization date in 1990, Len and Arline Hawken of Flashes Shopping Guide in Stuart hosted informal biannual meetings for statewide free distribution publishers. Conferences were held twice a year, and a statewide classified network was begun under the leadership of longtime Executive Director Dave Neuharth.
The Florida Media Association (FMA) was incorporated in 1990 as the Florida Advertising Publishers Association (FAPA), a not-for-profit corporation. A name change to Free Community Papers of Florida (FCPF) occurred in 1997, and the company’s name changed again in 2002 to the Community Papers of Florida (CPF). Finally, in 2018 the association’s name was changed to Florida Media Association (FMA) to better reflect the association’s new core mission to include additional media types.