'Tampa Tribune' Laying Off 70, Shrinking Circ Area and Page Width

By: E&P Staff The Tampa Tribune will lay off about 70 employees as it pulls out of several Florida counties, combines previously separate newspaper sections, eliminates daily zoning, launches "hyper-local" Web sites, and trims another half-inch from the width of its print daily, the Media General newspaper said Tuesday.

Full-time employees will be offered severance packages when affected employees are informed in the next few days, the Tribune said.

"Our decision to part with valued employees was difficult, and we very much appreciate the contributions of all those who will be affected by today's announcement," President and Publisher Denise Palmer said in a statement. "Our newspaper is experiencing the challenges of changing reader needs and fundamental shifts in spending by our traditional advertisers. We are reducing resources in areas that are in decline and investing in areas of growth, including local news and the Internet."

The Tribune also said this fall it will reduce the page width of its newspaper by one-half inch, or 4%.

It also said it is discontinuing distribution of the Tribune in Citrus, Manatee and Hardee counties, which are outside its core market. Both the Tribune and the rival St. Petersburg Times had targeted the fast-growing counties, but in recent years have been unable to best the local dailies.

The Tribune is also changing its daily paper. It said the Friday Baylife section would be combined into the Friday Extra section. Certain Sunday sections will also be combined, the paper said.

At the same time as it launches a series of hyper-local and interactive community sites on its TBO.com Web site, the Tribune will "transition the content" of geographically zoned sections into its community papers.


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