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Tampa Tribune latest

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FileNotFound, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    Media General seeks to split the plot of land on which the Tribune and WFLA offices are located into two plots. Sale imminent?

  2. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    The Times should buy the land/building, move its headquarters to Tampa and let the Trib rent a floor.
    Of course, if that happened, the Trib would have to stop referring to the Times as "the St. Petersburg-based Tampa Bay Times..."
  3. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Its cash-flush reputation aside, the Times has no available capital to do this. It's selling pieces of its downtown St. Petersburg headquarters, renting out floors of its main building, renting out the former cafeteria to tenants, and selling big bureaus (Clearwater, New Port Richey) to move to smaller, rented space. The way I've heard the story, all of these measures are in an effort just to meet payroll; as recently as a year ago, the newsroom alone was $1 million in the red each month.
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    The Times should have hired a wrecking ball for that old dump of an office in Clearwater and charged former staffers $10 per swing. I'd have handed over a C-note and enjoyed every moment. Revenue stream!
  5. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    RH, source? I'm pretty close to the situation too and I haven't heard anything close to that final sentence.
    I've thought all along that the name change was the first step in an eventual HQ move to Tampa. Just makes too much sense.
    Selling part of the parking lot and letting a bank rent the first floor could be a hint in that direction. The Times' building sits on prime real estate.
  6. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Sources for the cash flow issues: the Times' own reporting, as well as other local media.

    Sources for payroll issue: I've heard that figure independently within the past year from three current and former Times employees, including one who would have (or would have had) direct knowledge. I believe it to be true; you can decide for yourself whether it's plausible.

    It may be possible that the Times will move its entire operation to Tampa eventually. Do I see it happening soon? Not while it's selling property, laying off employees, paying a second mortgage/line of credit on the HQ building and no longer receiving annual stipends from Poynter.

    I could be wrong, but the evidence doesn't look promising that the Times is in any position to buy out the Tribune and/or its property. Of course, the Times probably can have the Bay area soon enough without spending any money at all if the circulation trends continue.
  7. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't the cost of a Tampa headquarters offset any money gained by selling the St. Petersburg headquarters?
  8. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    I'm no real estate expert, but I would think you'd need to be liquid enough to make a down-payment. The way I understand things, that might be an issue.
  9. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Hearing word of layoffs here today, including one desker from Sports, several newsside deskers and reporters, and elimination of at least one local section. Hope my information is wrong. Details to follow as they're learned.
  10. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    Heard Daytona Beach has layoffs, too.
    Five in the newsroom is what I heard.

    Long-timers, of course.
  11. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    That stinks.
  12. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    In a possibly unrelated development, the Tribune's publisher announced this morning that he's leaving:

    Tampa Tribune President and Publisher William Barker is leaving the paper to take a similar publishing role at the Naples Daily News. The news was announced to employees of the Tribune during a Wednesday morning town hall meeting with the company’s owners.

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