The Tampa Tribune, which certainly has the inside scoop, reports that Media General has laid off 165 staffers at the Tampa Tribune and its non-daily sister newspapers in the Tampa Bay area. There were no layoffs, though, at WFLA-TV (NBC), which operates out of the same facility.
The new layoffs were hardly a surprise, since employees were told that there would be pink slips coming last month when the top executives of Media General’s Florida operations were replaced. John Schauss, VP of Market Operations for Media General, sought to reassure staffers by noting that there will still be more than 300 people producing content for the company’s multiple platforms in the Tampa Bay area, including the newspapers, WFLA and TBO.com. In all, some 675 people will remain Media General employees in Tampa.
“Every one of our platforms has content producers who benefit Tampa Tribune readers. We will maintain and over time enhance the quality of our newspaper,” Schauss insisted.
RBR-TVBR observation: A real battle is brewing between the two big dailies in the Tampa Bay area. The St. Petersburg Times, which sees a wounded competitor across the bay, is changing its name to the Tampa Bay Times on New Year’s Day.