Skip to comments.Tampa Bay Times to begin employee buyouts
Posted on 03/06/2014 5:59:33 AM PST by shortstop
The Tampa Bay Times newspaper will begin offering buyouts to current workers in advance of a round of layoffs, according to company memos posted online.
This comes as the St. Petersburg-based newspaper faces increasing financial strain and works with business consultants to improve the companys financial results.
Employees will have between March 10 and 24 to consider the packages, which could include up to 13 weeks of severance, plus two extra weeks, according to a memo sent to employees by Human Resources Director Sebastian Dortch that was posted on the website of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which owns the Times.
Even if you are not interested, this is an opportunity to take stock of your place in the Times future, Dortch wrote. This is an important time to understand where you stand. After the buyout phase, it is clear that this work will result in some job reductions around the company.
The Times has been working to sell news bureaus, extra parking lots, the employee cafeteria and other assets to raise cash in recent years, and last December, the company took out a $28 million loan from a non-traditional lender, Boston-based Crystal Financial LLC. Half that amount went to pay off current debts and the full loan comes due in December 2016.
Both the Times and Poynter have seen their financial position strained in recent years, as have many media companies. The Times saw its Sunday circulation fall about 6 percent to 355,853, and daily circulation fall 4 percent Monday through Friday to 299,985, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.
The Times already conducted a round of layoffs in 2011 and temporarily cut pay in 2012. The companys most recent loan is backed by a half dozen parcels of real estate, including the companys headquarters in downtown St. Petersburg, part of which the Times recently made available for lease.
Times spokeswoman Jounice Nealy-Brown declined to answer questions about the moves, but sent a statement, reading, We are finding some ways to improve our results without compromising our quality. We want to support the colleagues whose jobs will be affected.
The bay area isn’t large enough to support two papers, the Times and the Trib...
Where did they get the cash to buy the naming rights for the hockey rink then?
Bwahahahyahaha! LIBs appear either to be awakening and not buying that rag or more of them can’t read.
It threw itself under the Obama bus.
St. Petersburg, err, Tampa Bay Times, Pravda Florida keeps falling. Unfortunately, our local rag, the Lakeland Ledger, has picked up many columnists columns from the TB Times. If it weren’t for the local section of the Ledger, I’d cancel in a heartbeat. (They, the Ledger, charge to read on-line if you’re not a subscriber)
Long time ago..when papers were flush..
Die, Commie Rag, Die
I’m hoping their first cost cutting measure will be to dump their entire editorial page staff. Then we can stop reading about how George Bush, Rick Scott and David Jolly- bad and Barack Obama and Alex Sink- good.
By many measures, the economy is improving steadily even if growth remains painfully slow. There have been 31 straight months of job growth, and more than 5 million private sector jobs have been created. The unemployment rate is down to 7.8 percent not great, but the same as when Obama took office. The stock market has come back, new housing starts are the highest in four years and housing prices in Tampa Bay and other areas are rising. The financial industry is stable, interest rates remain low and corporate profits are healthy. There is still too much economic pain, but America is better off than most of the rest of the industrialized world.
Da! Is good!
The smart ones will take the buyouts before TBT runs out of money.
Why? According to Obama and the Democrats, the economy is booming. Their circulation should be going through the sky. They should be hiring. Again, why?
Why? Maybe when your editorial policy pi$$es off half of your potential client base, you stand to lose a lot of potential customers. I live in Pinellas County but I subscribe to the Tampa Tribune. Not an overly conservative paper but definitely middle of the road. I start my day in a much better mood after quitting the Times.
I left the Tribune about 5 years ago. Haven’t missed it yet and 50 years from now I will still be able to day ,”I haven’t missed it yet”.
Most of the columnists/contributors appear liberal....even if they claim to be Republican. This is a poor excuse for a newspaper. imho, the majority of the stories they write are either blatantly biased or written in a way to imply any Republican is ‘bad’.
Most likely they place a restriction based on IP address. You can probably use a free IP Address mask like http://www.anchorfree.com/ and not bother paying for content that has no intrinsic value.
When you’ve used up your free articles on an IP address, just log off and back in again to your VPN and you’ll look like another visitor to the website.
Aren’t enough sheeple able to read, I bet Jeantel subscribes though, for the grocery coupons.
“This comes as the St. Petersburg-based newspaper faces increasing financial strain and works with business consultants to improve the companys financial results.
I’m still waiting for the politicians to start rebuking businesses who say this with the “Business is meant for public service, not private profit”>