‘Crisis situation’ at Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times

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)

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