Martin family will take the reins

For Immediate Release
July 12, 2019

It’s a new day for GatorBait:

Martin family will take the reins

Gator Bait Magazine, one of the longest-running publications in history on University of Florida sports, has been sold to the Buddy Martin Media group by Landmark Newspapers, it was announced today.

It will be guided by longtime journalist/broadcaster Buddy Martin, his son Brenden Martin and their new leadership/ownership team. The Martin team began immediately by publishing a thick 27-page Pre-SEC Media Days online magazine on Friday, July 12. The subscription-based weekly can be accessed by clicking Gatorbait.net.

Gator Bait, founded by David Stirt in 1989, turns 40 this football season.

The Martins will continue publishing the online version of the magazine and streaming The Buddy Martin Show which has developed a large loyal following of college sports viewers and, in particularly, Gator fans. (#TheBuddyMartinShow – Home | Facebook). But they promised big changes right away.

“We have bright, innovative, committed people on our team,” said the elder Martin. “At a time when so many print publications are folding, we are unafraid of stepping into a breach. And we do so with our wide open and the confidence that readers still want quality coverage, columns and features. We are a magazine, not a newspaper, but we are certain Gator fans have an insatiable appetite for knowledge about their teams, coaches and fans.”

That will include new live streaming shows to be announced soon by Co-owner Brenden Martin, who plans to merge GatorBait Magazine with his online streaming division and expand to other platforms.

“It’s the perfect marriage of old school/new school,” said the younger Martin, a fourth-generation journalist/media person. “We still believe in the power of the written word. But we also realize people connect differently today. We are excited to see where the fusion of media is and going to take us.”

Both agreed there was considerable risk involved with resurrection of an aging model, but “we believe GatorBait is a strong brand which resonates deeply with generations of loyal Gator families and fans.

“Maybe it was in my blood,” said Buddy Martin. “I just found out this year that my late grandfather, preacher-writer William Laban Martin, actually owned and operated The Gainesville Elevator newspaper in the early 1900s. Great name, The Gainesville Elevator. As most Gator fans know, it’s an up-and-down world.”

Right now, though, Martin noted, “With Dan Mullen and Mike White & Company, things appear to be going up.”