ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Bay Times employees are on edge after receiving a memo Monday warning them to brace for layoffs by year’s end.
In an internal memo obtained by News Channel 8, Times CEO and Chairman Paul Tash told employees next year’s budget will require reducing expenses. Job reductions will be part of that, Tash said.
News Channel 8 tried to reach Tash or other Times’ executives to ask how many employees would receive pink slips. News Channel 8 left multiple voicemails and even went to the paper’s headquarters in downtown St. Petersburg.
A security guard said Tash was in a meeting. While in the lobby, News Channel 8’s Paul Mueller made more calls.
Tash has two assistants. One of them took a message while the other one’s phone went to voicemail.
“We’ve let multiple messages and am still waiting to hear back,” Mueller said in a message.
News Channel 8 also spoke with the paper’s director of public relations. All she would say was that it was an internal memo. She then said “No comment.” When asked about employees concerned for their jobs, she again said, “No comment.”
This comes after the Times bought the Tampa Tribune in May. While the Times hired some Tribune staff members, about 200 people lost their jobs.
On Monday Tash partially blamed the cuts on the Tribune’s ad revenue, which was “unraveling faster” than Times executives understood, he said. That ad revenue is not as much as they had hoped, Tash said.