Tampa Tribune’s new owner cuts salaries, offers buyouts

The Tampa Tribune — recently sold by Media General to a California private equity investment firm for $9.5 million — is cutting employees’ wages and offering buyouts.

“I haven’t yet heard what percentage the cuts are averaging,” my tipster writes. “At a newsroom meeting, they told staff that the company has to offer severance to everyone, however, buyouts will be denied to those in critical newsroom positions.

Date: Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 11:15

Memo to All Employees:

Re: Pay adjustment and voluntary severance program

As Tampa Media Group establishes itself as a private, locally-managed company, we are taking immediate steps to align costs with revenue. The first of these steps will be to offer a voluntary severance program.

This voluntary program will be offered for a limited time only. Those interested in a severance package should notify Human Resources by 5PM on 10-26-12. It is important to note that while this program is voluntary and designed to help us reduce costs while compensating those who participate, acceptance of those applying for severance will be determined by management based on current business needs. Senior management will review the applications and will inform you whether you have been approved by no later than 5PM on 11-2-12.

In addition to the severance program to help us re-align costs to revenue, we will also be adjusting individual pay rates, effective immediately. Your managers will be meeting with you about your individual circumstance and I will meet with your departments this week to answer additional questions and explain in detail why this is important and necessary. As you know, our goal is to achieve sustained profitability in the short term and strengthen our market position in the long term. Moving forward with these cost-alignment measures will hasten our ability to operate more cost-effectively and be more competitive.

* What the fate of the Tampa Tribune means to Minnesota newspaper readers (minnpost.com)

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