By: Joe Strupp Marty Petty, publisher of the St. Petersburg Times and executive vice president of Times Publishing Co., is leaving the company after nine years, the Times reported today. In a surprise move, she may not be replaced by one person.
"One of Marty's accomplishments is the team of strong leaders on the business side of the company, and they are ready to pick up more responsibilities," Times CEO and Chairman Paul Tash wrote in a letter to staff announcing the departure. "While all the details are not yet clear, we will develop a new leadership structure around them."
"My departure comes down to a business decision," Petty wrote in her own letter, according to the paper. "Times Publishing is a smaller company today. The size of our management team at all levels needs to reflect that reality."
In the face of declining advertising, the newspaper's full-time staff has dropped by some 30% since its 2003 peak, the story said.
Petty told the paper she would miss the Times, but "I couldn't be more proud of where we are. This is a terrific market, and the good days will return. I am counting on everybody to press on with our good work."