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Tampa Bay Times layoffs

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by playthrough, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Sports columnist Martin Fennelly among seven staffers gone.

    Tampa Bay Times lays off 7 newsroom employees - Poynter

    The loan the Times has with local business leaders (and its chairman and CEO, which is another discussion altogether) is an albatross that will only get worse. As it is now, they need it to fund pensions.
  2. GoogieHowser

    GoogieHowser New Member

    Well, and I won't apologize for this, here's the under-reported issue: A and B being downsized to one section. That means advertising isn't hitting revenue marks. Those jobs possibly expand while they get a crappier product to sell by releasing newsroom staff. Now, I say this very-well knowing that non-essential personnel exists in every newsroom. That said though, no one is as non-essential as a neophyte would think -- it just makes everyone else's job harder.
  3. BWoronoff

    BWoronoff New Member

    Non-essential personnel used to exist in every newsroom. Not the case anymore.
    Doc Holliday likes this.
  4. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    When are the highest of the higher ups going to make the move to get rid of some of the folks who do not produce content? You say you can't afford to dump some of the sports editors and news editors and some of the opinion people? That they are so essential? Unfortunately a lot of those folks are probably safe until the print edition is completely gone, then look out. Most newsrooms will be cut to shreds at that point and some of the high paid mid level management suit types are gone as well as more reporters gone when the product is online only.
    Doc Holliday likes this.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    No question, that's pretty astounding for the Times. Metro used to be such a powerhouse and they had a ton of zoned editions across a five-county area.
  6. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

    Or the people who only produce material once in a blue moon, i.e. Lane DeGregory? What is the monetary value of keeping someone like her on the payroll? Granted, her reporting is some of the best in the industry.
  7. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    Another great point, Frederick. Too many editors and not enough reporters. I've seen it first hand. How does this continue? I just don't understand it.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think the Times, even in their financial straits, would cast aside a Pulitzer winner like DeGregory. But I bet the beancounters wouldn't be upset if she left for, say, a professor gig like Tom French did a decade ago.
  9. SportsGuyBCK

    SportsGuyBCK Active Member

    Because the beancounters are used to having top-heavy management ... just look at nearly every corporation in existence today ...
    sgreenwell likes this.
  10. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

    Indeed. I can see them offering a hefty payout.

    Ironically, other Times Pulitzer winners -- the ones who did Failure Factory and
    the mentall hospital investigation -- all left for new gigs at the NYT, BuzzFeed
    and Philly Inquirer.
  11. HappyCurmudgeon

    HappyCurmudgeon Well-Known Member

    The Times wrongly assumed those Tribune readers were just going to become Times readers (hint, they didn't) and Tampa businesses would just spend their ad money in the Times section (hint, they didn't).

    The Times is a St. Petersburg paper that also tries to serve Hillsborough County. That's the identity of that paper, it's built for the Pinellas County reader that's interested in what's happening across the bridge. Tampa folks liked their paper with their city's name on the masthead and the Tribune was kind of in and out of Pinellas because Tampa readers weren't as interested in what was happening in Pinellas. They wanted to read about their local area. It's very territorial on both sides of the bridge.

    I remember being surprised that the Times didn't continue the Tribune brand in some way just to placate those readers. As a friend told me. The Times could run a story on Monday and could've put it in the Tribune on Tuesday and for a heavy amount of that readership it would've been a new story.
  12. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    That's spot-on. The Times always wanted to put the Tribune under and that blinded their better judgment. Plus it was such a hollow victory when it finally happened, with the Tribune being a shell of itself and riddled with debt -- debt that the Times could ill-afford to take on, but still did because it was so happy to have "won" what was once a great newspaper fight.
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