Tampa Bay Times will temporarily cut employee pay amid financial decline

tampa bay times David Straz
Employees will lose 10% of their pay for 13 weeks.

The Tampa Bay Times will cut worker pay temporarily beginning next month.

Workers will see a 10% reduction in pay beginning March 13, according to information in an internal memo obtained by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

The cuts will last 13 weeks, according to the Business Journal, and will return to normal in June.

“This step is regrettable but necessary because revenues are falling short, a little in circulation and more seriously in advertising,” the memo said. “While we anticipated declines in print advertising, they are deeper than we expected, particularly in display advertising for some large accounts. Our sales teams are working diligently to preserve that business while finding new customers. But the growth of new accounts has not made up for the losses,” the memo read, according to the Business Journal.

The paper also reportedly told employees job cuts are also likely.

In exchange for the pay cuts, employees will receive an additional five paid days off.

Times CEO Paul Tash along with Editor Mark Katches, General Manager Joe DeLuca, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bruce Faulmann and Chief Digital Officer Conan Galatty will each take a 15% pay cut.

Times Political Editor Steve Contorno shared the Times’ plight on Twitter encouraging readers to subscribe to the paper to help stanch the flow of revenue bleeding.

“If you love our newspaper and this community as much as we do, we need your support. Subscribe, so we can keep working for you,” Contorno wrote.

Readers were quick to respond with shows of support. Some from out of state even said they would subscribe despite the Times not being their hometown paper. Others who were already subscribers offered words of encouragement.

“I love this newspaper and have a subscription. It’s physical and digital. Amazing coverage of what is happening in the Tampa/StPete area, concerts, events, comics, local news, investigations, all draw me to this excellent source of information. Please subscribe!,” wrote one reader.

Others who described the paper as biased blamed the paper for its own demise.

“I suppose it’s difficult to be biased and run an unbiased publication. Maybe one day some truly independent thinkers can come in and right the ship? Until then, Godspeed.”

The Times is facing steady financial decline. Liens against the paper’s parent company now total more than $103 million, according to documents obtained by Florida Politics last June.

Two years ago, a group of investors including Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, philanthropists Frank Morsani and Kiran Patel and their wives, developer Ted Couch and Washington Redskins part-owner Robert Rothman, BluePearl CEO Darryl Shaw, Times CEO Paul Tash and one other who has not been identified put up $12 million under the name FBN Partners to help the paper stay afloat.

FBN stands for “Florida’s Best Newspaper,” one of the Times’ slogans.

In 2017, the widow of Nelson Poynter who controls a trust that loaned the Times more than $9 million, sued the paper for defaulting on that loan, which at the time still had a nearly $8 million balance.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • Jim Donelon

    February 26, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Day by day we witness the steady decline of what was once a great newspaper.

    • Kathleen McCook

      February 26, 2020 at 8:33 pm

      I subbed to both the Tampa Tribune & SPT for over 20 years They had somewhat different political leanings. The SPT should have been able to engage the TT readers but didn’t make an effort to respect a different POV, so TT readers stopped subscribing.
      Should have more emphasis on local news (esp.county commissions).
      Great on sports.

  • Mary Bright

    February 26, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    I loved the SPT and now the Tampa Bay Times. You have wonderful journalists and other staff who’ve made this newspaper the award winning paper it’s been for all these years! The politicians and corporatists would be worse than they are if they didn’t have to worry about being exposed in the newspaper! Thank you for your dedication and hard work! I’m willing to increase what I pay for my newspaper and I bet others are too. Online news isn’t the same!

  • Ron

    February 27, 2020 at 7:06 am

    The day this lying, tax-cheating, anti-American rag finally goes out of business is the day I can cheerfully punch my ticket for Heaven’s Express. Seems it is getting closer, too.

  • Dan Lanske

    February 27, 2020 at 7:27 am

    If they actually were unbiased they wouldn’t be going through this. The only way to save the company to start immediately presenting the news in an unbiased fashion, and to stop attacking 50% of the population.

    • Giorgios589

      February 27, 2020 at 9:02 am

      Hey Dan. In other words, support Republicans everywhere. That would be as unbiased as Fox.

  • Thomas Atchison

    February 27, 2020 at 10:14 am

    In 2014 the Times ran several articles on our New Beginnings of Tampa. It was then I learned how fake news could be. Will Hobson flat out lied and misquoted me and tried to bring us down. Even though we were vindicated the Times never owned up to their deception. I haven’t bought a Times after that. They deserve to go down for there lies and deception. Dr. Tom Atchison

  • Eric Deggans

    February 27, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    This is the real Eric Deggans. The above comment was not written by me.I would ask the moderators to delete it.

  • Kurt Whiting

    February 28, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Try reporting the new instead of giving an opinion as news.

Comments are closed.


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