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Poynter selling its headquarters property

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by reformedhack, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Poynter, the journalism institute and parent company of the Tampa Bay (nee St. Petersburg) Times has listed its campus -- buildings, land and everything -- for sale with a commercial real estate service.

    Rumor in local circles is that the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, is looking at buying it to expand its business school.

    This matters because Poynter has been hurting for cash in recent years, and the Times relied on an annual stipend (in the millions of dollars) from Poynter to cover its own bills. That stipend had been suspended for the past several years. A sale would give Poynter (and the Times, by extension) a much-needed cash infusion.

    With several floors of the nearby Times building sitting empty (and, by the way, the first floor rented out to a local bank), it would present some savings through consolidation if Poynter moves into the Times building. That apparently is being discussed.

    Already, the Times has sold a huge chunk of its parking lot to property developers, and has previously put its cafeteria building, the Tramor, on the market.

    Sounds like it's a yard sale in St. Petersburg media circles.
     
  2. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Re: Poynter selling its headquarters

    Literally, since they are actually selling their yard.
     
  3. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Re: Poynter selling its headquarters

    The problem with expecting the sale of this property to save the company (or institute in this case) is you can only do it once.

    So what happens when this cash runs out?
     
  4. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    Re: Poynter selling its headquarters

    http://tbo.com/news/breaking-news/usf-dreams-of-buying-poynter-land-for-st-pete-growth-20130904/

    According to this story, it's only excess property for sale, not the building itself.

     
  5. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Re: Poynter selling its headquarters

    Interesting ... wasn"t aware the Tribune was working on that story. The listing itself, however, implies the entire package is for sale. Coupled with the vacancy in the Times building and an ongoing financial pinch for the newspaper -- unreported layoffs, anyone? -- those of us who follow these things still expect a bigger transaction. We do know the Times has put its bureaus in Clearwater and Port Richey on the market.
     
  6. vicd

    vicd Member

    The Times sold the old Clearwater Bureau after they moved into the new Clearwater Bureau.
     
  7. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Yes. The new bureau is being leased rather than owned, from what I understand. The transaction generated cash and some immediate cost savings.
     
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    The Times missed out on a real revenue opportunity from those of us who worked in the old Clearwater bureau. I'd have paid $100 for the chance to swing the wrecking ball a coupla times, and there would have been a line behind me.
     
  9. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    No layoffs, but they are hiring.
     
  10. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    There certainly have been layoffs at the Times over the past few years. Just because the company didn't call them "layoffs" doesn't mean they weren't actually layoffs.

    Ask the graybeard reporters and editors who are no longer there but just happened to be among the highest-paid newsroom employees. Ask the former bureau writer whose job was eliminated and not replaced. Ask the former copy editors whose positions were cut along with the frequency of regional editions. Ask the high-profile sportswriter on major college beat who received a copy of the home game. Ask the former deputy managing editor who was given a choice -- retire or else.

    Ask any of the people who were diverted into HR a few months ago as they walked into the lobby of the building as arrived for work. Ask any of the dozens of circulation, production and advertising people who no longer are employed there.

    Yes, the Times has made some hires and is advertising for others. Of course, openings happen when employees see what's happening, get worried about their own future and leave for other jobs. And some new positions -- not in the newsroom, for the most part -- are being created. Think about who's likely to hired, however ... and why.

    Anymore, the Times is no different than any other newspaper. Which is entirely my point -- it's dealing with the same financial crises, challenges and obstacles other newspapers face. It's still an excellent product, and the strongest newspaper in its market, but it's not the land of milk and honey that some would have us believe.
     
  11. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    What was true in 1970 is true today: You're better off there than just about anywhere else. Which is why several friends who work on the other side of the bridge still are trying to cross it.
    And, again, they're hiring.
     
  12. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    And I seriously doubt there are too "several" people looking to cross that bridge. I know folks who have done it, and I know more than a few who have crossed the bridge back. They are putting out a good product overall, and I really enjoy the Sunday section, but like every other paper it ain't anywhere close to what it used to be. And re-read the entire last paragraph of reformedhack's post. They are having the same financial issues as everyone else, but they aren't disclosing it publicly.

    Aslo, they seem to have a good plan, but I'm still eager to see how this works out:

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/for-some-readers-tampabaycom-starts-charging/2141337

    http://www.tampabay.com/subscribe/faq.page
     
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