Tampa Bay Raze: ‘Trib’ to Axe 20% of News Staff


The Tampa Tribune plans to lay off 11 newsroom employees this week and another 10 by early fall as part of a one-fifth cut in the news staff.

Along with the 29 people who took voluntary buyouts and tendered resignations, the job losses announced Tuesday will leave the Tribune with a news staff of about 200, the paper said Wednesday.

The cuts, part of a corporate reduction announced in May, are the latest sign of how the newspaper industry is being hurt by a weakened economy and the emergence of the Internet as an alternative medium for advertising.

“You never want to have good people go away,” said Denise Palmer, Tribune publisher and president. “But I also know you have to work within the revenue you bring in.”

On Wednesday, the Journal Sentinel newspaper in Milwaukee announced it will cut about 10 percent of its staff of 1,300 due to the slump in ad sales affecting the entire newspaper industry, which has seen hundreds of layoffs as wary advertisers cut back on ads and newspaper costs soar. Last week alone, six major papers announced layoffs totaling about 900 jobs.

Media General Inc., the Tampa Tribune’s parent company, is reducing its entire work force by nearly 11 percent. Between 250 and 260 jobs are being cut at the Tribune, WFLA-TV, TBO.com, Centro Grupo de Comunicacion and several smaller newspapers in Florida.

WFLA said it would cut 10 news positions by the end of the year.

Richmond, Va.-based Media General, which also publishes the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch and the Winston-Salem (NC) Journal, expects annual savings of $40 million from the cuts, which began in early 2007.

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