From a Tampa Bay Times employee:
Today’s staff meetings were the clearest indication yet that the company is on the brink of doom. The phrase “crisis situation” was used, and staffers with other employment options were urged to take them. Despite what [CEO Paul] Tash said to his own reporter last month, the name change on the [Tampa entertainment arena] was absolutely about saving money.
The person who sent the above email used a pseudonym, so I sent it [without the name] to another Times employee to make sure what he wrote was accurate. The second person confirmed that it was. At today’s meetings, staffers were told “if you have options, you should be exploring them because there’s no guarantee of where we’ll be in three months.”
They were also informed that their pay will be cut by 5% and their maximum severance payment – if they take a buyout – will go from 13 weeks to eight weeks.
The struggling newspaper borrowed $28 million ten months ago from an outfit that “specializes in making loans to companies who require more debt capital than is currently made available from traditional lenders.”
What else was said at today’s meetings, Times staffers? Please let me know; I’ll protect you, of course.
* Tampa Bay Times cuts employee pay 5%, reduces severance (tampabay.com) | (bizjournals.com)
* Comments about the Times from my Facebook friends and subscribers (facebook.com)
New: “Truly unfortunate timing for this A1 headline in Tampa” (@jfdulac)
Letter to Romenesko
From BOB ROZYCKI, managing editor, Westchester County Business Journal: I was wondering if you could get a discussion going about “is everything fair game” today in regard to usage of published photos. Here’s the deal:
I photographed Dr. Gwen Korovin last fall for an article for WAG magazine, an upscale leisure book that covers Westchester County in New York and Fairfield County in Connecticut. After TMZ broke the story that she was the alleged doctor who did the biopsy on Joan Rivers my photo went basically viral without credit. It just says [the photo came] from her Facebook page.
Here’s a link to our online story and one of the other photos I took.
My daughter started a crusade on my behalf via Twitter and got a couple sites to give me credit: Examiner.com and The Wrap.
A Chicago Tribune reader complained to me on Wednesday about being charged extra for coupons in the Thanksgiving Day edition. Here’s part of the letter he sent:
Steve Friess, who tweeted the Free Press letter today, says: “If they want to charge more at the newsstand, that seems fair. But subscribers? That seems weird.” (I’m told the Free Press is charging $1 more for the Thanksgiving paper.)
Both newspapers told me that subscribers could get a credit if they called the customer service department.
George Rodrigue, who joined the Dallas Morning News in 1983, is leaving the paper to become assistant news director at Gannett’s WFAA. The editor’s memo:
Date: Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM
Subject: George Rodrigue’s Departure
To: All TDMN , AH Corp All, All Denton RC, Everyone – North Plant , ITS Dallas
A message from Bob Mong:
Our longtime managing editor will be leaving the paper in a few days to become assistant news director at WFAA (Ch. 8). He will begin there on Sept. 25.
I hired George in 1983 as a city hall reporter teamed with Terry Maxon, and I have worked closely with him during most of my career. His departure, as you may deduce, leaves a very profound, personal void. I am certain many of you feel similarly.
George carved out one of the most distinguished careers in the long history of The News, both as a reporter and as an editor./CONTINUES Read More
* New York Times masthead changes are coming. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Susan Glasser is promoted to editor at Politico. “A year in, I’m even more bullish on Politico and its future,” she tells her staff. (politico.com) | (washingtonpost.com)
* Iran says it’s interrogating Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian. (washingtonpost.com)
* New York Police Department commanders are advised not to use military time in their tweets; animal rescues are good to share with followers, they’re told. (wsj.com)
* Of course they did; the Internet is cruel: “I wrote about marriage and all anyone noticed is that I’m fat.” (dailydot.com)
* Alabama Gas Corporation takes legal action to stop the Montgomery Advertiser from publishing information it got through a public records request. (montgomeryadvertiser.com)
* “A bizarre blockade on press freedom” in the Olympic wilderness. (pugetsoundblogs.com)
* Washington Post’s new The Optimist email newsletter focuses on stories of hope and “pluck.” (ivoh.org)
* Departing columnist: “I knew it was time for me to go when I started calling it the ‘newspaper business’ instead of the ‘newspaper game.'” (tcpalm.com)
* Michael Wolff on the fall of the Forbes family. (Malcolm at left) (townandcountrymag.com)
* David Gregory on Washington dysfunction and laziness in the media. (mediabistro.com)
* Huh?! Parade – so thin that you couldn’t find it buried between the Sunday paper coupons – had 85 employees? The magazine ran one feature a week, usually done by a freelancer. What did these people do? (nypost.com)
* Advice for laid-off journalists from an editor/columnist who was “unceremoniously dismissed” from USA Today” in 2009. (aarp.org)
* New York Times celebrates 163 years. (A fire extinguisher with that birthday cake, please.) (@NYTArchives)
* The Daily Mail has to do a better job with corrections, says the Guardian’s media blogger. (theguardian.com)