There are many great weekly newspaper publishers in the history of Florida newspapering. But there are few who are more closely identified with weekly publishing than S.L. Frisbie, IV. He has been one of the great champions of quality weekly publishing for our state for more than 45 years.
S.L. was much, much more than a small town newspaper publisher. He was keeper of the flame that has helped to light the way for hundreds of young journalists who crossed his path during his career. S.L was an important mentor in the early years of dozens of young journalists.
S.L. Frisbie loved every job he had at The Polk County Democrat. He has delivered papers, sold advertising, written stories, editorials and knew more about the pressroom than many of his pressmen.
He has championed the cause of community journalism through the years, working to bring government news to his readers through humor and wit, as well as solid hard news reporting.
Whether the cause was popular or not, S.L. crusaded to make his community a better place, often cajoling local government officials to do the right thing. Most of those who were “cajoled” in the community will tell you that S.L. did so with integrity, dignity and often, humor.
He was elected president of the Florida Press Association in 1976 and has remained active with the group each year since.
S.L.’s father, Loyal Frisbie, was also a past president of the Florida Press Association and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.
The Frisbies officially retired on Dec. 31, 2009 after a combined 87 years in the family newspaper business. S.L. continues to write editorials and a column for The Polk County Democrat every week from the same office his father used in retirement.